Protein supplements have become increasingly popular over the past 10 years with the global protein supplements market size valued at USD 20.47 billion in 2021. The market is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 8.5% from 2021 to 2030. This popularity stems from the increased focus on health, fitness, and meeting daily nutritional requirements by supplement users. Also, the COVID pandemic is shown to have played a pivotal role in supplement users using protein supplements for immune function benefits.
Supplement users and athletes alike purchase protein supplements for their nutritional value and to assist with performance. However, a recent survey featured in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, shows the stated protein amount stated on product labels may not always be accurate.
In a recent analysis of 11 popular protein powder brands in Columbia, it was revealed the majority contained less protein content than what was claimed on the label. "This misinformation is not just happening in Columbia, but also in other countries, so all should be aware," said the scientists behind the study. They went on to say that the reduction of quality seems to be a "normal practice" within the protein supplement industry.
Featured in NutraIngredients USA, the founder of the International Protein Board, Dr. Robert Wildman, revealed the results of the survey were not surprising. Wildman explains that protein consumers are looking for quality while also hoping to reduce the intake of carbohydrates, fats, sugars, calories, etc. "It's not surprising to see that in those products in this study over-claiming protein, are also under-claiming other macronutrients." Wildman goes on to recognize Informed Protein and the work the program is performing to verify protein supplement label claims.
The data of the Columbian protein supplements showcases the importance of third-party testing to ensure protein supplement users are receiving the protein they are paying for. With the survey results, combined with supplement users being more selective when purchasing, it is vital for protein supplement brands to provide transparency and confidence to their customers.
Informed Protein is a third-party protein supplement testing and verification program developed to verify the amount of protein stated on a label is actually in the product. Using a combination of protein supplement test procedures and manufacturer assessment, Informed Protein provides athletes and consumers with the assurance that product label claims have been verified independently. The program also considers the risk of adulteration or cross-contamination at manufacturing facilities by incorporating a check on the free amino acid content, a targeted screen for common adulterants, and facility audits that provide oversight of manufacturer quality processes.
Informed Protein is recognized and endorsed by the International Protein Board. Several protein supplement brands have utilized Informed Protein to set themselves apart in terms of quality assurance to provide confidence to supplement users.
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