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Digestible indispensable amino acid score (DIAAS) is greater in animal-based burgers than in plant-based burgers if determined in pigs

Abstract

Purpose

Determine digestible indispensable amino acid score (DIAAS) for animal- and plant-based burgers and test the hypothesis that DIAAS calculated for a burger and a burger bun is additive in a combined meal.

Methods

Ten ileal cannulated gilts were fed experimental diets for six 9-d periods with ileal digesta being collected on d 8 and 9 of each period. Six diets contained a burger (i.e., 80% lean beef, 93% lean beef, 80% lean pork, Impossible Burger, or Beyond Burger) or a burger bun as the sole source of crude protein and amino acids. Three additional diets were based on a combination of the bun and 80% beef, pork, or Impossible Burger. A nitrogen-free diet was also used. The DIAAS for all ingredients and mixed meals was calculated for children from 6 months to 3 years and for individuals older than 3 years, and DIAAS for combined meals was predicted from individual ingredient DIAAS.

Results

The 93% lean beef and the pork burgers had greater (P < 0.05) DIAAS than the plant-based burgers for both age groups. The 80% lean beef burger had greater (P < 0.05) DIAAS than the plant burgers for children from 6 months to 3 years, and greater (P < 0.05) DIAAS than the Beyond Burger for individuals older than 3 years. There were no differences between the measured and predicted DIAAS.

Conclusions

The protein quality of animal-based burgers is greater than that of plant-based burgers. However, for individuals older than 3 years, the Impossible Burger has comparable protein quality to the 80% lean beef burger. The DIAAS obtained from individual foods is additive in mixed meals.

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Abbreviations

AA:

Amino acids

AAA:

Aromatic amino acids

AEE:

Acid hydrolyzed ether extract

AID:

Apparent ileal digestibility

Asx:

Sum of asparagine and aspartic acid

CP:

Crude protein

DIAA:

Digestible indispensable amino acid

DIAAS:

Digestible indispensable amino acid score

Glx:

Sum of glutamine and glutamic acid

SAA:

Sulfur amino acids

SE:

Standard error

SID:

Standardized ileal digestibility

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Acknowledgements

The authors acknowledge the Beef Checkoff, Denver, CO, and the National Pork Checkoff, Clive, IA, for providing funding for this research

Funding

Funding for this research was provided in part by The Beef Checkoff, Denver, CO, and in part by the National Pork Checkoff, Clive, IA.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

All authors contributed to the study conception and design. MNN, RD, and TT prepared the burgers used in the experiment. NSF conducted the animal part of the research and analyzed the data. HMB assisted with statistical analyses. MNN, RD, and TT contributed to the interpretation of the data. NSF wrote the first draft of the manuscript. HHS supervised the project and had primary responsibility for the final content. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Hans H. Stein.

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Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Availability of data and materials

All data generated or analyzed during this research are included in this manuscript.

Code availability

Not applicable.

Ethics approval

The study was approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee at the University of Illinois under the United States Department of Agriculture Animal Welfare Act and the NIH Public Health Service Policy on the Humane Care and Use of Animals; Protocol license number: 19131.

Consent to participate/for publication

Not applicable—the manuscript does not contain clinical studies or patient data.

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Fanelli, N.S., Bailey, H.M., Thompson, T.W. et al. Digestible indispensable amino acid score (DIAAS) is greater in animal-based burgers than in plant-based burgers if determined in pigs. Eur J Nutr 61, 461–475 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00394-021-02658-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00394-021-02658-1

Keywords

  • Amino acid digestibility
  • Animal-based meat
  • Digestible indispensable amino acid score
  • Plant-based meat
  • Protein quality