Influence of nonprotein nitrogen on estimation of protein from total nitrogen in fleshy fruits

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The protein content of pulps of 26 fleshy fruit species from east Mediterranean habitats in Israel were estimated using two different methods: (1) the Kjeldahl procedure in which the total recovered nitrogen is multiplied by 6.25 to estimate total proteins, and (2) amino acid analysis by amino acid analyzer. The average protein content obtained by the Kjeldahl procedure was 5.75% (dry weight) while it was only 3.90% when amino acids were analyzed. The higher value of protein content by the Kjeldahl procedure is most likely the result of a relatively high proportion of nonprotein nitrogen compounds (31%) in these pulps. Therefore the 6.25 factor is not valid and a 4.05 factor may be more accurate for assessing the true protein content of these fleshy fruits. The data also suggest that the more accurate estimate of true protein (Y) from Kjeldahl total nitrogen (X) should be based on the highly significant linear regression between these two variables:Y=4.885 X-0.6.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2605-2615
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Chemical Ecology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1993


  • Frugivory
  • Kjeldahl
  • amino acids
  • fleshy fruit
  • nutrition
  • plant-animal interactions
  • protein
  • secondary compounds
  • seed dispersal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry


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