|A great part of the population, especially
that of vulnerable groups of children and adolescents,
has a protein intake smaller than the minimum diet
recommended by the FAO (The Food and Agriculture Organization):
the percentage calculated around 40-50%.
Thus the major nutritional deficiency of the developing
countries is the protein deficit, that affects the
physical growth, the mental development and the immunity
to diseases, processes that shorten the life expectancy.
A very important aspect of food intake is that it shouldn’t
lack proteins, especially those of high biological
value, since they provide the Essential Amino Acids.
There should exist in each diet a constant supply of
the adequate proteins to guarantee the development,
growth and maintenance of the vital structures of the
Once digested, the food proteins become amino acids
that are used to synthesize the structural proteins
the organism needs: hormones, enzymes, blood components
and other body tissues. Only 20 amino acids participate
in this process.
The Amino Acids are divided into those that can be
synthesized by the organism, so- called No Essential,
and those that must be included in each diet, the “Essential
Amino Acids”. Thus, the nutritional value of
a protein will depend on its content of essential amino
The 8 Essential amino acids the organism requires are
leucine, isoleucine, valine, threonine, methionine,
phenylalanine, tryptophan, and lysine. The histidine
is also considered to be an essential amino acid for
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