The Invaluable Technology Used in Food Production and Healthcare
When food and supplements are analysed, a specific analysis is done to reveal the amount of protein and amino acids. Why? Partly because almost half of the standard amino acids cannot be produced in the human body in the amounts needed.
There are 20 amino acids that are very important for you. 9 out of the 20 are named essential, since it is essential to include them in your diet. This is because otherwise you will not have them in the levels needed. Out of the other 11 amino acids, 6 are named conditionally essential and are normally found in sufficient levels. However, they may be required in higher levels during sickness and stressful periods.
Foods with all essential amino acids are named complete proteins and are particularly important to include in a healthy diet. Important sources are meat, seafood, poultry, dairy products and eggs. Plant based foods, such as quinoa, buckwheat and soy, are another great source of complete proteins. It is important to look after the protein content in other foods to ensure that you get the recommended amount every day.
Amino acids are crucial in healthcare
The level of free amino acids is often analysed in food products to determine the protein content and thus make production companies change the level of certain amino acids. In research, scientists perform amino acid analyses on tissue, blood or other fluids to investigate the healthiness of patients and in some cases determine if a disease affects a certain type of amino acid.
When producing biological medicine, cell cultures must be used to produce the active part of the drug. The best conditions for cell cultures is the target when the production is set up, since it ensures a high yield and product quality. By measuring the amount of amino acids in the cell culture, the cell’s condition can be estimated and optimized if not good enough.
Which technological method is used?
Amino acid analysis is applied to various samples in food production, scientific research and much more. The method is often identical, no matter if the sample is a new food product or a cancer drug. The central technique for the analysis is called chromatography.
After some preparations, the protein mixture with unknown amino acid content is poured onto a column. The result is a separation of each amino acid type by a unique colouring of each type and a measurement of the amount of each colour. The colour amount thus corresponds to the amino acid amount in the original product.