Daniel Tomé


Professor, AgroParisTech (Paris Institute of Technology for life, Food, and environmental Sciences), Université Paris-Saclay

Visiting professor at WUR (Wageningen University and Research Center), Division of Human Nutrition, The Netherland (since 2008 and until 2020).

Teaching Activities – M. Sc. and Ph.D. Education Programs in Physiology, Nutrition and Healt; Undergraduate Education Programs in Nutrition and Nutrition Policy; Supervision of M. Sc., doctoral students and post-doctoral fellow’; Mentoring of 60 PhD students.

Research activity – Research related to protein and amino acid supply and their capacity to fulfill their biological functions and meet nutritional needs for human:

Editorial boards and reviews

Prices and Awards – Price of the French Institute for Nutrition (IFN) (2008); Decoration of “Academic Palms” (French Departement of Education) (2014); Laureate of “Lauriers of Excellence” from INRA (2016)



“Latest developments in policy and research on the DIAAS-method to determine protein quality”

Daniel Tomé, Prof

AgroParisTech, INRA, Paris, France

Wageningen University, The Nethertland

The question of protein supply in diets and the quality of dietary proteins has been debated for decades by public health authorities worldwide and still remains among the main priorities for national and international organizations in charge of agriculture, food and public health. Protein requirement has been established from nitrogen balance at a mean value of 0.66 g protein/kg body weight per day in healthy adult and additional components were determined by factorial approaches for growth (infant, children, adolescent) or for pregnant and lactating women (FAO/WHO/UNU, 2007). In addition, protein in the diet when consumed at the level require to meet protein requirement must also provide the body with metabolically available indispensable amino acids (IAA). According to these concepts, the three limiting factors for protein quality in foods and diets include the total protein content, the amino acid composition of these proteins, and the metabolic availability of these amino acids to meet nutritional needs. Current discussion of International Authorities (WHO, FAO, IOM, EFSA) are related to the Protein Digestibility-Corrected Amino Acid Score (PD-CAAS) (FAO/WHO/UNU 2007) as the reference score for assessing protein quality. In the PD-CAAS the digestibility of protein has largely been determined from faecal digestibility. As unabsorbed amino acids are mostly metabolized by colonic bacteria and converted to ammonia that can be absorbed, faecal digestibility can be over-estimated, particularly for low digestibility proteins. The ileal digestibility is considered more accurate for dietary amino acid digestibility and availability. In addition, in the PD-CAAS approach the same digestibility of the protein is applied to each amino acid. As all amino acids are not similarly absorbed in a same dietary protein source, it was proposed to use a modified score, the Digestible Indispensable Amino Acid Score (DIAAS) (FAO, 2011, 2014), that considers the specific ileal digestibility of each amino acid, but this score is not yet used due to methodologic issues. A novel non-invasive approach for measuring amino acid bioavailability is based on the use of 13C and 15N/2H labelled amino acids or intrinsically-labelled foods and evaluation of the isotopic signature of circulating absorbed dietary amino acid availability. In this method 2H/15N labelled test meal is accompanied by a trace quantity of a differently 13C highly labelled internal control protein, and comparative tracer amino acid enrichment ratio in the food and in the blood gives a direct measure of relative digestion/availability of the two protein under test. The amino acid bioavailability is checked in comparison to a reference milk protein 15N or 2H-labelled considered to have a known digestibility. This method is currently developed and tested in animal models and in humans.

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