Protein shortage in the nonindustrialized countries is a serious threat to the health and well-being of much of the world's population. Rice, corn, wheat, and legumes do not supply enough protein to meet human requirements, especially those of preschool children, pregnant and nursing mothers, and adults doing heavy work. It is critically important to find ways of increasing the world food supply and of raising the quality of protein in the basic diets of populous developing countries.
This book addresses itself to the many-faceted nature of the protein problem and focuses on the potential usefulness of amino acid fortification as one step toward its solution. It is based on the first international symposium to be held on amino acid fortification of protein foods – organized by the M.I.T. Department of Nutrition and Food Science for The Joint Malnutrition Panels of the United States-Japan Cooperative Medical Science Program. The many contributions are from leading medical nutritionists, agriculturalists, economists, food scientists and chemists from the Far, Near, and Middle East, Latin America, Europe, and the United States.
The book's first two parts discuss the background of the world protein problem and describe alternate ways in which future protein needs might be met. Part Three reviews the evidence from experimental studies with laboratory and farm animals and from studies of man that deficient proteins can be improved by selective fortification with synthetic essential amino acids. Chapters in Part Four consider the difficulties of – and attempt to find guidelines for – evaluating the effectiveness of nutrition intervention measures in human populations. Part Five deals with the world status of the micro-biological and chemical synthesis of essential amino acids, while considering also the technical feasibility and commercial aspects of their use in fortifying foods. Alternate strategies for meeting the protein needs of individual countries are considered in Part Six. The final section contains a statement by the United Nations Protein Advisory Group which summarizes current knowledge of the effectiveness of amino acid fortification and provides specific guidelines for evaluating its practical use.