New regulations stipulate that all processed food and most raw foods state the protein content on the nutrition label for consumers. Producers now must test products to determine nutritional composition, including monitoring protein content by testing for levels of nitrogen.

Traditionally, the Kjeldahl method is used to determine protein content, but the Association of Official Analytical Chemists has added the Dumas combustion technique as a recognized method for such analyses. Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.'s Flash 4000, which is based on the Dumas combustion method, does not require sample digestion or toxic chemicals, offering a less environmentally damaging solution for protein determination. Thermo Fisher is headquartered in Delft, The Netherlands.

Because different meats have unique levels of water and fat content, combustion temperatures and oxygen concentrations vary in the protein determination process. Thermo Scientific Eager Xperience software automatically calculates the oxygen amount necessary for sample combustion. It also automatically calculates the protein content in accordance with the food type. In addition to simplifying the analytical operation, these functions allow continuous, unattended operation, reducing instrument downtime and offering improved streamlined workflow.

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