The high demand for novel and existing sustainable protein sources (e.g., legumes, insects, algae, and cultured meat) to replace the animal-based sources is becoming crucial. This change in protein consumption calls for the re-evaluation of the current methods to assess their quality and bioavailability. The two conventional scores for PDCAAS (protein digestibility-corrected AA score) and DIAAS (Digestible Indispensable AA Score) have their limitations and have not been re-evaluated and updated to address plant and novel proteins’ quality. We suggest a sensitive physiological preclinical model that can rapidly and confidently address proteins from different sources. Our model is based on the postnatal growth, a major parameter for development and health in children, that influenced by environmental nutritional and lifestyle factors. Our results demonstrate that, with an appropriate amount of protein in the diet, almost all tested proteins performed as well as casein, the animal source. However, upon restriction (10% of calories), all alternative sources did not accomplish normal growth performance. Surprisingly, when compared to PDCAAS and DIAAS parameters obtained from the literature, no correlations were found between growth performance and these parameters, demonstrating their limitations.
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- amino acids
- bone development
- longitudinal growth