High protein content remains a major consumer health trend in food. Innova Market Insights data reported that one in five consumers changed their protein intake in 2022, with up to 17% looking for high protein products1. When it comes to protein, scientists and food nutritionists agree that it is one of the most important nutrients for the human body, mainly due to its crucial role in muscle building and maintenance.  

What is protein?  

In its most basic form, proteins are made up of several amino acid building blocks that are linked together. Depending on the type of protein, whether it’s plant, animal or marine-based, 300 or more amino acids can be found together to make up the protein. 

Animal proteins offer a higher quality amino acid profile than plant-based ones, as they often contain a complete set of essential amino acids. Essential amino acids, such as leucine or phenylalanine, are found in meat, poultry and fish, and cannot be produced by the human body alone. These amino acids are the building blocks for protein synthesis, which is considered essential for muscle repair and growth2 

An essential function of the human body 

Without protein, the human body would cease to function. In fact, sarcopenia – a disorder that speeds up the loss of muscle mass increasing the risk of falls and functional decline – is often associated with elderly adults who have low protein intake3. The essential amino acid leucine, for example, helps to stimulate muscle protein synthesis and acts as a potent trigger for muscle growth and repair4. While animal proteins also contain more anabolic properties per gram, to help maintain muscle mass and strength5.

Outside of muscle maintenance, protein can also provide other functions, such as the ability to move essential molecules around the body, help facilitate chemical reactions via digestive enzymes, and support the regulation and expression of DNA and RNA6. 

Why choose marine proteins over plant-based proteins? 

Plant-based proteins, such as almonds or rolled oats, can provide up to 6 grams of protein content, but they often have a limited amount of certain essential amino acids. This is where marine proteins shine. Not only do they provide all the essential amino acids we need, but they also have higher bioavailability and digestibility, so that our bodies can more easily absorb and utilize them7.

The good news is that salmon contains the highest amount of protein per 100 gram serving. In fact, the benefits of salmon are far superior to animal and plant-based proteins for a few reasons:

– Salmon delivers protein with fewer calories
– It is an excellent source of B vitamins
– Delivers up to 20mcg of selenium and 7.3mcg of vitamin D based on a 100g serving of farmed, cooked salmon8 

Farmed salmon is also the most resource-efficient animal protein on the planet. Its feed conversion ratio is 1.2-1.5, compared to chicken at 1.7-2 and beef at 6-109. Its water consumption per liter is just 1, versus chicken at 7,570 and beef at 9,46310. And finally, its carbon footprint measurement (per gram of CO2 per gram of edible protein) is just 0.6, in comparison to chicken at 0.9 and beef at 5.911 

Choosing salmon proteins from biomega ®

When you are next evaluating which protein is the best for your health food innovation, make sure to consider biomega’s ® SalMe Peptides. biomega ® is a producer of premium Atlantic salmon-based ingredients for human nutrition by using an innovative continuous enzymatic hydrolysis processing technique. And, as part of our ethos, you can rest assured you are partnering with a company that is circular by nature and sustainable by process.

To find out more about our innovative salmon ingredients to help boost protein in your health food portfolio and for further information about our products and concepts, contact the team today. 


1. Innova Market Insights Global Survey 2022, via https://www.nutritionaloutlook.com/view/protein-attracts-new-customers-2023-ingredient-trends-for-food-drinks-dietary-supplements-and-natural -products , accessed March 2024 

2, 7. Reid-McCann et al., The effect of animal versus plant protein on muscle mass, muscle strength, physical performance, and sarcopenia in adults: protocol for a systematic review. Systematic Reviews, 11, 641, 2022
3. Walston JD. Sarcopenia in older adults. Curr Opin Rheumatol. November; 24(6):623-7. doi: 10.1097/BOR.0b013e328358d59b, 2012.

4, 5. Oxford Academic: Hackney, KJ et al., Protein and muscle health during ageing: benefits and recommendations, 2019.
6. European Food Information Council, ‘What are proteins and what is their function in the body’, December 2019.

8. BBC Good Food, Ingredient Focus: Salmon, https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/ingredient-focus-salmon , accessed March 2024

9, 10,11. Global Salmon Initiative, 2019 Sustainability Report