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became outdated by the rapid progress in the field.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
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