So the nutrition world is soon to rip up protein guidelines and implement a new way of assessing protein quality in foods, and it's thanks largely to work done by New Zealanders.
The world's leading experts in protein met in Utrecht in September, including several New Zealand scientists, to discuss ways to address the nutritional needs of a burgeoning world population.
One of those people was Massey University Professor Paul Moughan who joined REX host Dom George to delve into complex discussions around protein quality, the newly developed Digestible, Indispensable Amino Acid Score (DIAS) metric, and misconceptions about protein consumption.
A key talking point in the conversation is the significance of the DIAS metric.
"DIAS is really just a very accurate way of describing the power of a protein to supply the absorbed amino acids."
This new approach, which he states has been accepted universally by the scientific community, revolutionises how we assess the nutritional value of protein sources, focusing on the absorbed amino acids rather than the total protein content. The conversation further examines the implications of alternative protein sources, such as lab-grown meat and insects, on the future of food security.
Professor Moughan acknowledges that while these technologies will have their place, they will not replace traditional animal and plant protein production. However, he emphasises the importance of accurate measurements to ensure the sustainability of future food production.
"We've got to have the right measurements if we're going to come up with the right balance systems for sustainable future food production."
Finally, the episode concludes with a discussion on food labelling, where Professor Moughan underscores the potential impact of food labelling on consumer health. He notes that organizations like FAO and Codex are considering the implementation of a food scoring system on labels, which could benefit consumers in making informed and healthier food choices.
He asserts that transparency is crucial in food labelling and acknowledges that changes in this area will take time to implement.
Overall, the episode is a deep dive into the intricate world of protein nutrition, highlighting its impact on global food security and the future of our world. It presents an insightful exploration of the importance of a comprehensive approach and the right tools in securing our food future.
Listen to the full chat between Professor Paul Moughan and Dominic George above.