Identifying protein-rich foods helps mothers, children avoid malnutrition

A key step toward alleviating malnutrition in young children and breastfeeding mothers is knowing the precise protein nutritional content in the meals they eat.

Studies by Illinois researchers are making it possible to calculate how easily these indispensable amino acids are digested. Recent research has filled in the blanks on the concentration of amino acids in pork products, and also how different methods of preparing the meat—roasting, frying and grilling—can impact digestibility of amino acids.

The child eating a kebab on picnic

The new knowledge, combined with previous research on cereal grains, makes it possible to design entire meals that can reduce the risk of malnutrition. The work also provides guidance on the differences among cooking procedures on protein quality.