Presentation Title

Knowledge of protein content and bioavailability in dairy and plant-based alternatives among a national sample

Presenter's Name(s)

Katie SchlepphorstFollow

Project Collaborators

Bridget Clark (Graduate Student Collaborator), Sarah Geller (Undergraduate Student Collaborator), Reilly Donahue (Undergraduate Student Collaborator)

Abstract

In the United States, consumption of dairy milk has been on a steady decline for the past three decades while the popularity of dairy-free plant-based milks continues to increase. With this increase in consumption of plant-based milks comes the lack of clarity behind whether the public recognizes the differences in both protein content and bioavailability of various milks and whether knowledge is associated with milk choice. To explore these topics, we coded 11,906 comments submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in response to a request for comments on the labeling of plant-based dairy alternatives (FDA-2018-N-3522). Matrix coding queries were utilized to examine and quantify various categories of protein in relation to product preference and chi square analyses were run to determine whether significant differences existed in preferences and perceptions on labeling between individuals that commented on protein and those that did not. Only 7.7% of all comments discussed protein and only 1.1% of those comments mentioned protein bioavailability. Although the majority of those who stated a preference for dairy products demonstrated an accurate understanding of protein content in both dairy and plant-based milks, they failed to identify fortified soy milk as an effective protein replacement; meanwhile, almost 1/4 of those who stated a preference for plant-based milks held an inaccurate understanding of protein content in plant-based milks. This study demonstrates a lack of accurate knowledge regarding nutritional content of popular food products in a U.S. population, suggesting a need for enhanced nutrition education, especially for consumers who do not drink dairy.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Emily Belarmino

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Program/Major

Nutrition and Food Sciences

Primary Research Category

Health Sciences

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Knowledge of protein content and bioavailability in dairy and plant-based alternatives among a national sample

In the United States, consumption of dairy milk has been on a steady decline for the past three decades while the popularity of dairy-free plant-based milks continues to increase. With this increase in consumption of plant-based milks comes the lack of clarity behind whether the public recognizes the differences in both protein content and bioavailability of various milks and whether knowledge is associated with milk choice. To explore these topics, we coded 11,906 comments submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in response to a request for comments on the labeling of plant-based dairy alternatives (FDA-2018-N-3522). Matrix coding queries were utilized to examine and quantify various categories of protein in relation to product preference and chi square analyses were run to determine whether significant differences existed in preferences and perceptions on labeling between individuals that commented on protein and those that did not. Only 7.7% of all comments discussed protein and only 1.1% of those comments mentioned protein bioavailability. Although the majority of those who stated a preference for dairy products demonstrated an accurate understanding of protein content in both dairy and plant-based milks, they failed to identify fortified soy milk as an effective protein replacement; meanwhile, almost 1/4 of those who stated a preference for plant-based milks held an inaccurate understanding of protein content in plant-based milks. This study demonstrates a lack of accurate knowledge regarding nutritional content of popular food products in a U.S. population, suggesting a need for enhanced nutrition education, especially for consumers who do not drink dairy.