, Volume 53, Issue 6, pp 316-320

Standards for protein based foods in developing countries

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Abstract

Legal specifications in India are issued by the Central Committee for Food Standards and are limited in number. Specifications issued by the Indian Standards Institution (ISI), which are discussed in this paper, are optional but prestigious and much more numerous. Foods based on milk proteins emphasize minimal protein damage, estimated by solubility measurement, and high sanitary quality. The latter is common to all other ISI food specifications as well. Edible oilseed proteins for use as food ingredients are formulated in various types or grades and carry such criteria as protein level, fiber content, and appropriate antinutrient level. Proteins from various sources may enter products such as protein mixes, weaning and toddler foods, biscuits, “vegetable” milks, and offspring of the latter like yogurt, ice cream, and reconstitutable powders. In certain products, protein level may be varied inversely with protein quality. To define the latter, the protein efficiency ratio has been adopted and a working methodology for India evolved through collaborative experimentation. The level of any added vitamins and minerals in these protein foods is such that an expected daily consumption of the food would carry 1/3 the Indian recommended daily allowance. Concentrate protein foods stand in a class apart in their very high levels of the nutrients present. Enriched staples like wheat flours could carry proteins, vitamins, and minerals or omit proteins if found functionally disadvantageous. Codes of practice are being developed by ISI in related fields, such as food advertising, in which one clause enjoins that sound established foods or food practices should not be denigrated; food labeling, in which the problem is to ensure a label meaningful to consumers; and date marking, which could hinge on certain and expected shelf life of the food.