Total Protein Methods and Their Potential Utility to Reduce the Risk of Food Protein Adulteration
Article first published online: 17 AUG 2010
© 2010 Institute of Food Technologists®
Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety
Volume 9, Issue 4, pages 330–357, July 2010
How to Cite
Moore, J. C., DeVries, J. W., Lipp, M., Griffiths, J. C. and Abernethy, D. R. (2010), Total Protein Methods and Their Potential Utility to Reduce the Risk of Food Protein Adulteration. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, 9: 330–357. doi: 10.1111/j.1541-4337.2010.00114.x
- Issue published online: 17 AUG 2010
- Article first published online: 17 AUG 2010
- MS 20091252 Submitted 12/15/2010, Accepted 2/26/2010.
Abstract: Kjeldahl and combustion (Dumas) methods are widely accepted for total protein determination but lack analytical selectivity for protein because they measure protein on the basis of sample nitrogen content. Adulteration incidents exploiting this analytical vulnerability (for example, melamine) demonstrate that these methods are no longer sufficient to protect the public health. This article explores the challenges and opportunities to move beyond total nitrogen based methods for total protein measurement. First, it explores the early history of protein measurement science, complexities of current global protein measurement activities, and ideal analytical performance characteristics for new methods. Second, it comprehensively reviews the pros and cons of current and emerging approaches for protein measurement, including their selectivity for protein, ability to detect adulteration, and practicality for routine use throughout the supply chain. It concludes that some existing highly selective methods for food protein measurement have potential for routine quality control. It also concludes that their successful implementation will require matrix-specific validation and the use of supporting reference materials. These methods may be suitable only for food ingredients that have a low degree of compositional variability and are not complex finished food products.