Based on FDA recommendations, the Daily Value for protein is 50g per day. Generally, a Nutrition Facts label has no Percent Daily Value (%DV) for protein on display. While it may seem like a simple calculation to determine the %DV of protein based on the grams of protein in a food, more distinction is required. Protein is made up of amino acids that fall into two categories, essential and nonessential. The essential amino acids are what we obtain from food and cannot be made by the body. Nonessential amino acids can be made by the body. It is the essential amino acids we are concerned about in nutrition labeling.
The %DV of protein is determined by the Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS). This score helps us understand the digestibility of the protein—how we use the protein provided by the foods we eat—and discern a more accurate %DV. The PDCAAS calculation requires a lab test of a food’s essential amino acids. While On The Menu does not provide lab services, we can calculate the %DV for protein when provided with the amino acid profile of your food.
Why would you want to report the %DV for protein on a Nutrition Facts label? Based on US nutrition labeling requirements, it is mandatory if you make a nutrient-content claim about protein. Otherwise, it is not required or necessary.
For more information about protein on the Nutrition Facts label, refer to the FDA Interactive Nutrition Facts Label, October 2021, Protein 1.