Processing-Induced Markers in Proteins of Commercial Plant-Based Drinks in Relation to Compositional Aspects

Ida Schwartz Roland, Miguel Aguilera-Toro, Søren Drud Heydary Nielsen, Nina Aagaard Poulsen, Lotte Bach Larsen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The consumption of plant-based drinks is increasing, but they represent a product category normally with lower protein content as compared with bovine milk. Furthermore, the products are highly processed and, therefore, the proteins in this product category may carry a significant processing history. In the present study, a series of 17 freshly produced, commercially available plant-based drinks were benchmarked according to protein-quality parameters. The plant-based drinks represented different plant sources, as well as some mixed products, and were investigated relative to composition, aggregate sizes, presence of non-reducible proteins complexes, and level of processing-induced markers in the proteins. Processing-induced changes in the proteins were determined by a newly developed cocktail method, determining markers related to Maillard and dehydroalanine pathways, as well as intact lysine by triple quadrupole-multiple reaction monitoring-mass spectrometry. It was found that all drinks contained non-reducible protein complexes, but specifically, oat-based drinks represented the largest span contents of processing-induced markers within the proteins, which may relate to their inherent processing histories. Furthermore, it was shown that in products containing added sugar, Maillard reaction-related processing markers were increased over the dehydroalanine pathway.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3282
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023


  • furosine
  • lanthionine
  • Maillard reaction
  • multiple reaction monitoring
  • plant-based drinks
  • processing


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