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Quality Digest


Waters Partners With Researchers and Industry to Advance Science of Alternative Proteins

Driving sustainability with scientific research

Published: Wednesday, August 10, 2022 - 12:00

(Business Wire:Milford, Massachusetts)--Waters Corporation (NYSE:WAT) announced it is providing both technology and expertise to help advance plant-based protein science in collaboration with researchers of the Plant Protein Innovation Center (PPIC) at the University of Minnesota. Waters scientists will work with PPIC researchers to develop a workflow for measuring the amino acid content of plant-based proteins using a Waters ACQUITY™ Premier UPLC System. Waters is the first analytical instrument company to become a member of the PPIC, an industry-leading interdisciplinary research center dedicated to studying plant and alternative proteins.

According to a July 2022 report by Boston Consulting Group, animal agriculture is the largest global greenhouse gas emitter within the food system and accounts for 15 percent of global emissions. If alternative proteins stay on track to match the taste, texture and price of conventional animal proteins, researchers estimate they will account for an 11 percent share of the food market by 2035 and account for a reduction in CO2 emissions equal to 95 percent of today’s aviation industry emissions.

“Just as climate change and population growth are driving demand for alternatives to animal protein, changing consumer tastes are also creating a preference for healthy and more sustainable dietary options to meet their future needs and wants,” says Warren Potts, Senior Director, Global Food and Environmental Business, Waters Corporation.

“Waters is proud to be the first analytical instrument company to join PPIC in its pursuit of alternative sources of proteins while addressing the issues of climate change and food security.”

“As we translate research to reality through developing and introducing novel and sustainable plant protein ingredients and products with acceptable functionality and nutrition, we rely heavily on robust and accurate analytical tools,” says Dr. B. Pam Ismail, Founder and Director of the PPIC. “PPIC and its member organizations are, therefore, thrilled to partner with Waters to advance our analytical capabilities for the alternative protein market.”

Liquid Chromatography is Essential for Amino Acid Analysis

Proteins are made up of 20 chemical ‘building blocks’ called amino acids. The amino acids we make ourselves or that we take in with food, link together in different combinations to make new proteins that help build and repair muscles, tendons, and organs. While humans produce 11 of these amino acids, the remaining nine amino acids are essential for human health and are derived only from plant or animal sources.

Amino acid analysis provides a basic measure of the functional and nutritional value of both animal and plant-based proteins slated for consumer food products. Any research into plant-based proteins requires a way to measure their amino acid content, for which liquid chromatography is particularly well-suited.


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For 40 years Quality Digest has been the go-to source for all things quality. Our newsletter, Quality Digest, shares expert commentary and relevant industry resources to assist our readers in their quest for continuous improvement. Our website includes every column and article from the newsletter since May 2009 as well as back issues of Quality Digest magazine to August 1995. We are committed to promoting a view wherein quality is not a niche, but an integral part of every phase of manufacturing and services.