By 2050, the world population is estimated to reach 9.6 billion, and this growth continues to require more food, particularly proteins. Moreover, the Westernisation of society has led to consumer demand for protein products that taste good and are convenient to consume, but additionally have nutritional and health maintenance and well-being benefits. Proteins provide energy, but additionally have a wide range of functions from enzymatic activities in the body to bioactivities including those associated with heart health, diabetes-type 2-prevention and mental health maintenance; stress relief as well as a plethora of other health beneficial attributes. Furthermore, proteins play an important role in food manufacture and often provide the binding, water- or oil-holding, emulsifying, foaming or other functional attributes required to ensure optimum sensory and taste benefits for the consumer. The purpose of this issue is to highlight current and new protein sources and their associated functional, nutritional and health benefits as well as best practices for quantifying proteins and bioactive peptides in both a laboratory and industry setting. The bioaccessibility, bioavailability and bioactivities of proteins from dairy, cereal and novel sources including seaweeds and insect protein and how they are measured and the relevance of protein quality measurement methods including the Protein Digestibility Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS) and Digestible Indispensable Amino Acid Score (DIAAS) are highlighted. In addition, predicted future protein consumption trends and new markets for protein and peptide products are discussed.
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