• Beneficial modulation of the gut microbiota

      Cotter, Paul D. (Elsevier BV, 2016-04-01)
      As the scientific community continues to develop an ever-greater understanding of the composition and function of the human gut microbiota, and the role of specific microbial populations in health and disease, attention has turned to the tools that are at our disposal with respect to altering these microbes in a beneficial way. The options available include the use of diet, probiotics/prebiotics, antimicrobials and, potentially, exercise. Here, our recent investigations of the relationship between protein, bacteriocin producing probiotics and exercise and the gut microbiota and, in turn, health will be described.
    • Food Proteins and Bioactive Peptides: New and Novel Sources, Characterisation Strategies and Applications

      Hayes, Maria (MDPI, 2018-03-14)
      By 2050, the world population is estimated to reach 9.6 billion, and this growth continues to require more food, particularly proteins. Moreover, the Westernisation of society has led to consumer demand for protein products that taste good and are convenient to consume, but additionally have nutritional and health maintenance and well-being benefits. Proteins provide energy, but additionally have a wide range of functions from enzymatic activities in the body to bioactivities including those associated with heart health, diabetes-type 2-prevention and mental health maintenance; stress relief as well as a plethora of other health beneficial attributes. Furthermore, proteins play an important role in food manufacture and often provide the binding, water- or oil-holding, emulsifying, foaming or other functional attributes required to ensure optimum sensory and taste benefits for the consumer. The purpose of this issue is to highlight current and new protein sources and their associated functional, nutritional and health benefits as well as best practices for quantifying proteins and bioactive peptides in both a laboratory and industry setting. The bioaccessibility, bioavailability and bioactivities of proteins from dairy, cereal and novel sources including seaweeds and insect protein and how they are measured and the relevance of protein quality measurement methods including the Protein Digestibility Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS) and Digestible Indispensable Amino Acid Score (DIAAS) are highlighted. In addition, predicted future protein consumption trends and new markets for protein and peptide products are discussed.
    • Future Protein Supply and Demand: Strategies and Factors Influencing a Sustainable Equilibrium

      Henchion, Maeve; Hayes, Maria; Mullen, Anne Maria; Fenelon, Mark; Tiwari, Brijesh K; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Ireland; 11/F/043 (MDPI, 20/07/2017)
      A growing global population, combined with factors such as changing socio-demographics, will place increased pressure on the world’s resources to provide not only more but also different types of food. Increased demand for animal-based protein in particular is expected to have a negative environmental impact, generating greenhouse gas emissions, requiring more water and more land. Addressing this “perfect storm” will necessitate more sustainable production of existing sources of protein as well as alternative sources for direct human consumption. This paper outlines some potential demand scenarios and provides an overview of selected existing and novel protein sources in terms of their potential to sustainably deliver protein for the future, considering drivers and challenges relating to nutritional, environmental, and technological and market/consumer domains. It concludes that different factors influence the potential of existing and novel sources. Existing protein sources are primarily hindered by their negative environmental impacts with some concerns around health. However, they offer social and economic benefits, and have a high level of consumer acceptance. Furthermore, recent research emphasizes the role of livestock as part of the solution to greenhouse gas emissions, and indicates that animal-based protein has an important role as part of a sustainable diet and as a contributor to food security. Novel proteins require the development of new value chains, and attention to issues such as production costs, food safety, scalability and consumer acceptance. Furthermore, positive environmental impacts cannot be assumed with novel protein sources and care must be taken to ensure that comparisons between novel and existing protein sources are valid. Greater alignment of political forces, and the involvement of wider stakeholders in a governance role, as well as development/commercialization role, is required to address both sources of protein and ensure food security.
    • Future Protein Supply and Demand: Strategies and Factors Influencing a Sustainable Equilibrium

      Henchion, Maeve; Hayes, Maria; Mullen, Anne Maria; Fenelon, Mark; Tiwari, Brijesh K; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Ireland (MDPI, 20/07/2017)
      A growing global population, combined with factors such as changing socio-demographics, will place increased pressure on the world’s resources to provide not only more but also different types of food. Increased demand for animal-based protein in particular is expected to have a negative environmental impact, generating greenhouse gas emissions, requiring more water and more land. Addressing this “perfect storm” will necessitate more sustainable production of existing sources of protein as well as alternative sources for direct human consumption. This paper outlines some potential demand scenarios and provides an overview of selected existing and novel protein sources in terms of their potential to sustainably deliver protein for the future, considering drivers and challenges relating to nutritional, environmental, and technological and market/consumer domains. It concludes that different factors influence the potential of existing and novel sources. Existing protein sources are primarily hindered by their negative environmental impacts with some concerns around health. However, they offer social and economic benefits, and have a high level of consumer acceptance. Furthermore, recent research emphasizes the role of livestock as part of the solution to greenhouse gas emissions, and indicates that animal-based protein has an important role as part of a sustainable diet and as a contributor to food security. Novel proteins require the development of new value chains, and attention to issues such as production costs, food safety, scalability and consumer acceptance. Furthermore, positive environmental impacts cannot be assumed with novel protein sources and care must be taken to ensure that comparisons between novel and existing protein sources are valid. Greater alignment of political forces, and the involvement of wider stakeholders in a governance role, as well as development/commercialization role, is required to address both sources of protein and ensure food security
    • Measuring Protein Content in Food: An Overview of Methods

      Hayes, Maria; Hayes (MDPI AG, 2020-09-23)
      In order to determine the quantity of protein in food, it is important to have standardized analytical methods. Several methods exist that are used in different food industries to quantify protein content, including the Kjeldahl, Lowry, Bradford and total amino acid content methods. The correct determination of the protein content of foods is important as, often, as is the case with milk, it determines the economic value of the food product and it can impact the economic feasibility of new industries for alternative protein production. This editorial provides an overview of different protein determination methods and describes their advantages and disadvantages.