Understand your product’s impact on the body’s metabolic response and what this means for potential health benefits, through blood amino acid kinetics

Innovations in dairy and plant proteins offer exciting market opportunities for functional foods with health benefits. But many different elements play a role in how your ingredient influences the body’s metabolic response. The protein’s amino acid composition, its interaction with other nutrients in the end-product, its reaction to processing, etc. have to be considered. Even the consumer’s profile can make a difference: age, health and more.
Measuring concentrations of amino acids in the blood of healthy volunteers can offer key insight. For example, maintaining muscle mass is strongly associated with the stimulation of muscle protein synthesis after eating. Consuming proteins increases amino acid concentrations in the blood. Specific amino acids, including leucine, trigger the synthesis of muscle protein.
In clinical trials, we can compare the blood amino acid concentrations before and after the protein ingredient is consumed, to understand how the body is able to digest and make use of it.

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Measuring protein availability for pure proteins and multi-component ingredients 

NIZO can carry out digestion studies on your pure proteins or multi-component ingredients. For example: 

  • Designing and coordinating the execution of a food intervention study in healthy volunteers under good clinical practice conditions 
  • Measuring blood amino acids, over a period of several hours after a protein meal  
  • Measuring glucose and insulin levels after a protein meal, to see how your ingredient affects the blood response, or the volunteers’ feeling of appetite, satiety, etc. 
  • Drafting of clinical and statistical reports, with clear interpretation  
  • Providing tailored consultancy and guidance based on your study results 

In-house expertise in dairy and plant-based proteins 

NIZO can design and coordinate a customised protein digestion study, based on your specific question. We carry out your amino acid analyses in-house, for full control and enhanced efficiency. Using our expertise in food, science and nutrition, we can go even further: into the impact of the nutrient content, food matrix, processing, etc. on your protein ingredient. 
We have extensive experience in clinical trials with different target populations, including both younger and older consumers (the ‘65-80’ year-old group), athletes, etc. 
And while most protein digestion studies on amino acid patterns in the blood are done with isolated proteins, we have also carried out studies on actual products, delivering real-world insight.
For example, we have shown that protein composition isn’t the only factor that impacts amino acid availability in the blood. The product matrix (such as milk, yoghurt or cheese) also plays a role. 
With our scientific expertise and guidance, we can help your company develop products that fit within more effective dietary strategies, whether for preventing muscle loss with aging or for meeting other consumer needs. 

Any questions?

Ioana Iorga is happy to answer all your questions.

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