Protein %DV - PER & PDCAAS

Genesis Nutrition Facts Labeling
%DV for Protein

In order to list % DV for protein on the Nutrition Facts label, you will need to enter either a PER or PDCAAS value.

PER (protein efficiency ratio) Link to tutorial
PER is a method used for determining the quality of protein in food. It is used to determine the protein grams and %DV for Nutrition Facts panels that market to infants 0 to 12 months.

PER is a lab determined value between 0 and 2.5.

This PER value is compared to the PER casein standard (2.5) to determine the product’s corrected protein grams and %DV.

Protein grams = [protein per serving x (recipe PER / PER for casein)]
%DV = [(Protein grams / 11*) x 100]

PDCAAS (protein digestibility corrected amino acid score) Link to tutorial
PDCAAS is a method for determining the quality of protein in food. It is used to determine the protein grams and %DV for Nutrition Facts panels that market to children greater than 1 year but less than 4 years of age, or for products that make a protein claim, including items marketed to adults (ages 4 or more).

PDCAAS is a value between 0 and 1.0.  The value may be determined by a lab, or may be determined mathematically. Casein and egg whites have PDCAAS values of 1.0.

A PDCAAS calculated at greater than 1 = 1.

For children age 1 year to less than 4 years old:

Protein grams = [protein per serving x PDCAAS]
%DV = [(Protein grams / 13*) x 100]

     *Note that for the 2016 regulations, the DRV for protein changed for infants and child labels.

      1990 NLEA:  Protein DRV for infant 14g; for child 16g.

For adult labels (4 years and older) that make a protein claim:

Protein grams = [protein per serving x PDCAAS]
%DV = [(Protein grams / 50) x 100]

Mathematical determination of PDCAAS

The PDCAAS may be calculated by multiplying the amino acid score of the recipe by the protein digestibility of the recipe.

PDCAAS = (amino acid score x recipe protein digestibility)

Amino Acid Score
In Genesis, the Protein Quality report shows the amino acid score for your recipe. The recipe amino acid score is the lowest amino acid percentage shown. For example, if the lowest percentage is lysine at 85%, then 85% is the amino acid score. It is important that amino acid data be present for all foods that contribute to the protein total in your recipe in order to obtain an accurate score.

In the ESHA database, amino acid data is more prevalent for USDA whole food items.  Since manufacturers are not required to list amino acid data on their product labels, they do not typically provide this data.  View the Spreadsheet report, with amino acids chosen as the Nutrients to View to ensure that there are no missing values for the foods that contribute to the total protein.

For mixed foods, protein quality must be factored based on the percent of each ingredient that contributes to the total protein value.  The Single Nutrient report can be used to determine which ingredients contribute most to least of the total protein.

Protein Digestibility
The protein digestibility can be determined by a lab, or can be approximated by using existing tables of the protein digestibility of foods. Using tables, the weighted protein digestibility of each recipe ingredient is added together to create the recipe total.

Recipe Protein Digestibility = [(ingredient1 protein digestibility x percent ingredient1 of total protein) + (ingredient2 protein digestibility x percent ingredient2 of total protein) + etc]


Entering PER or PDCAAS in Genesis

In Genesis, with your Recipe open,
Click on the word "Label" on the top toolbar.
Choose "Settings".
Click on "Nutrient Options".
Click on the + next to "Protein".
Looks for the line for "Protein Quality Score PDCAA" & "Protein Quality Score PER".
You can click on the appropriate line & enter the score on the right side of the line.
Click "OK".


Protein - US FDA Labeling

Code of Federal Regulations.  Protein section 101.9(c)7

Protein – Canadian Labeling

For Canadian Labeling, see more information regarding PER on the CFIA website:


Calculating PDCAAS – Example

To calculate PDCAAS from the amino acid data:

Assuming that amino acid data is complete for ingredients contributing to total protein,

Open your Recipe and view the “Protein Quality” report (this is one of the Reports Plus).

The Protein Quality report lists the amino acids and their scores.  From this list, find the lowest percentage in the Score column.  This is the limiting amino acid and the amino acid score is this number in decimal form.

Refer to the protein digestibility table below to see if your ingredients are represented and find the digestibility percent.  You convert both percents to numbers:


A Protein Quality Score of 110% becomes 1.1

A digestibility of 82% becomes .82

The PDCAAS = Protein Quality Score X Protein Digestibility, so 1.1 X .82 = .902.  This is the PDCAAS that you would enter in Genesis.

The following is a list of the protein digestibility of some ingredients:


Protein Digestibility %





Egg white




Pea flour


Pinto beans (canned)


Kidney beans (canned)


Seafarer beans


Black beans




Lentils (canned)


Lentils (autoclaved)


Chickpeas (canned)


Peas (century)


Peas (trapper)


Soybean protein, concentrate


Soybean protein, isolate


Soy assay protein


Pea protein, concentrate


Rapeseed protein concentrate


Rapeseed protein isolate


Sunflower protein isolate


Wheat gluten


Peanut meal


Whole wheat


Rolled oats




Source: “Protein Quality Evaluation,” FAO, Rome 1990

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