Article Series

  1. Combining proteins? Is it useful?
  2. PDCAAS Method


Table Of Contents
  1. How is the PDCAAS value determined?
  2. PDCAAS Values
  3. Combinations

PDCAAS (Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score) provides a recognized method for evaluating protein quality. The assessment compares the amino acid profile (concentrations of amino acids) of a food to the digestibility of the contained amino acids and the amino acid requirements. Originally, this assessment was developed for undernourished children 1. However, it is also partially taken into account in sports, as strength athletes and children in their growth phase have a higher protein requirement.

How is the PDCAAS value determined?

This method compares various foods with each other and creates a ranking. The highest possible value is 1.00, which is only achievable when 100% of essential amino acids are transferred to the body after protein digestion. In contrast to biological value, there is no higher value than 1.00 for a combination since the index was developed for children and is therefore completely sufficient for nutrition.


Below are some selected plant-based foods according to the PDCAAS method 2 3 4 5:

Plant-based foodPDCAAS value
Soy protein 1
Chickpeas 0.78
Fruits 0.76
Vegetables 0.73
Pea protein concentrate 0.73
Legumes 0.70
Kidney beans 0.68
Hulled hemp seeds 0.63-0.66
Cereal grains 0.59
Oatmeal 0.57
Peanuts 0.52
Hemp seeds 0.49-0.53
Peanut flour 0.52
Rice 0.47
Wheat protein (gluten) 0.25
Almonds 0.23


Combining different foods can result in complete proteins according to the PDCAAS method:

  • Cereal grains and vegetables
  • Cereal grains, nuts, and seeds
  • Rice and peas
  • Legumes, nuts, and seeds