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close this bookNutritional Evaluation of Protein Foods (United Nations University - UNU, 1980, 154 pages)
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the documentFrom the charter of the United Nations University
View the documentForeword
Open this folder and view contentsPreface
Open this folder and view contentsPart I. Techniques for protein quality evaluation: background and discussion
Open this folder and view contentsPart II. Techniques for protein quality evaluation: methodology
View the documentPart III. Glossary of terms used in protein quality evaluation
Open this folder and view contentsAppendices


In 1962 an international Working Group on the Evaluation of Protein Quality met in Washington, D.C., under the auspices of the Committee on International Nutrition Programs of the Food and Nutrition Board, with Dr. Nevin S. Scrimshaw as Chairman. The work of this meeting and subsequent extensive correspondence and discussions resulted in the National Academy of Sciences - National Research Council publication Evaluation of Protein Qua/ity (NAS-NRC Publ. 1100), for which Dr. Peter L. Pellett served as editor. With the rapid advance in methodologies for the evaluation of protein quality, this publication became increasingly in need of revision. For this purpose, a task force of Committee 7, "Biological and Clinical Evaluation of Protein Foods," of Commission I of the International Union of Nutritional Sciences (IUNS), under the chairmanship of Dr. Vernon Young, and the Protein-Calorie Advisory Group (PAG) of the United Nations system joined in sponsoring a meeting in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, held 4-6 March 1974. Members of the group were Drs. A.W. Bender, R. Bressani, K.J. Carpenter,* D. M. Hegsted, J.M. McLaughlan, M. Milner, H. N. Munro, P.L. Pellett, B.S. Narasinga Rao,* N.S. Scrimshaw, and V.R. Young.

Unfortunately, publication arrangements were so delayed that this version became outdated by the rapid progress in the field. For this reason, a working group from the current IUNS Committee 7 of Commission I, with Dr. Ricardo Bressani as Chairman, met under the auspices of the United Nations University (UNU) World Hunger Programme in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, 5-7 September 1979. Members were Drs. Bjorn Eggum, J.M. McLaughlan, Hamish Munro, Peter Pellett, William Rand, Kenneth Samonds, Lowell Satterlee, Nevin Scrimshaw, and Vernon Young (see the list at the end of the book for affiliations and addresses). Using the previous document as a basis, considerable revision and updating were undertaken, together with the decision that the new document should include working information of various procedures so that it might have value on a worldwide basis. Although individual papers on specific topics were submitted to the group, so many modifications, additions, and changes in emphasis were made by the working group that the group as a whole assumed responsibility for the views and opinions expressed.

The revised version developed at this meeting was once again widely circulated, and the resulting suggestions taken into account. Individuals receiving copies for their comments and criticisms included Drs. M. ArayaLopez, Santiago, Chile; A. Bender, London, UK; C.E. Bodwell, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Beltsville, Maryland, USA; S. Fomon, lowa City, lowa, USA; D. Calloway, Berkeley, California, USA; K. Carpenter, Berkeley, California, USA; A. Harper, Madison, Wisconsin, USA; D.M. Hegsted, USDA, Washington, D.C., USA; D. Hopkins, St. Louis, Missouri, USA; G.R. Jansen, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA; F.M. Lajolo, Sao Paulo, Brazii; J. Mauron, La Tour-de-Peilz, Switzerland; D.S. Miller, London, UK; P.R. Payne, London, UK; H. Rafalski, Lodz, Poland; Z. Sabry, FAO, Rome, Italy; D. Southgate, Norwich, UK; and B. Torun, Guatemala City, Guatemala.

Especially detailed and helpful comments and criticisms were received from C.E. Bodwell, D. Calloway, G.R. Jansen, J. Mauron, P.R. Payne, and B. Torun. To the fullest extent possible, all revisions, additions, comments, and criticisms were taken into account in this final version, which has been edited by P.L. Pellett and V.R. Young.

This report is intended to provide a broad overview of the problems and procedures applicable to protein quality evaluation. It offers a series of practical recommendations on the methods considered appropriate for the assessment of dietary protein quality for various purposes. Consideration is also given to the sequence of plant-breeding programmes to improve nutritional value. To the extent possible, it provides the necessary details for each method proposed. A glossary is included in an attempt to define and standardize the meaning of terms and ratios as they are used in this publication on protein quality evaluation. A.Y. Pellett prepared the index and performed the final library checking of the reference list.

The United Nations University was established to apply the instruments of scholarship, research, advanced training, and the dissemination of information to the solution of pressing global problems. The combat against world hunger is the focus of the World Hunger Programme, one of three initial programmes; the other two are the Programme on the Use and Management of Natural Resources, and Human and Social Development Programme. Within the World Hunger Programme, the three sub-programmes are "Food and Nutrition Policy," "Post-Harvest Conservation of Food," and "Nutritional Requirements under the Conditions Prevailing in Developing Countries." The World Hunger Programme supported both the meeting of the September 1979 working group and the subsequent editorial process for this publication.

Nevin S. Scrimshaw, Senior Adviser

World Hunger Programme, The United Nations University