Subject: American pistachios – It’s all about the protein.

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Analysis shows U.S. grown pistachios are a "good source" and "complete protein" for those over five years of age.
Pistachios join quinoa and soy as substitute for animal proteins.

American pistachios are a "good source" of protein, meeting 10% of the Daily Recommended Values. Roasted American pistachios are also a "complete protein" for those 5 years and older, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's definition of a "complete protein." American pistachios have joined the ranks of the few plants proteins such as quinoa, chickpeas, and soybeans as a plant protein qualifying as a "complete protein."

The "complete protein" status was determined by a Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS) analysis which concluded roasted American pistachios contain the 9 essential amino acids in adequate amounts for protein synthesis for those 5 and older. The chart below shows the PDCAAS of several plant based proteins and how they compare to casein.

Protein quality of different foods measured by PDCAAS
Source:

Protein Digestibility-Corrected Amino Acid Scores and Digestible Indispensable Amino Acid Scores Differentially Describe Protein Quality in Growing Male Rats. Rutherfurd et al, The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 145, Issue 2, February 2015, Pages 372-379.

H.M. Bailey and H.H. Stein (2019) Determination of PDCAAS and DIAAS values for raw and roasted pistachios. Manuscript in preparation.

Boye, Joyce & Wijesinha-Bettoni, Ramani & Burlingame, Barbara. (2012). Protein quality evaluation twenty years after the introduction of the protein digestibility corrected amino acid score method. The British journal of nutrition. 108. S183-S211. 10.1017/S0007114512002309.

Owusu-Apenten, R.K., Food Protein Analysis: Quantitative Effects On Processing, New York, Marcel Dekker, Inc., 2002.

 
Click here to view the press release American Pistachio Growers