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Analyst. 2002 Dec;127(12):1666-8.

A comparison of the Kjeldahl and Dumas methods for the determination of protein in foods, using data from a proficiency testing scheme.

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  • 1School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Birkbeck College (University of London), Gordon House, 29 Gordon Square, London, UK WC1H 0PP.


Both the Kjeldahl and the Dumas methods for the determination of protein in foodstuffs are currently in use, but the empirical nitrogen factors used to convert the determined nitrogen content to protein content are based on the Kjeldahl method alone. Non-equivalence between the two methods could therefore result in some laboratories reporting an incorrect protein content. We report here a study using data accumulated over several years in the results of a proficiency testing scheme. On average the Dumas method provided results that were relatively higher by about 1.4% than the Kjeldahl method, but the difference between the methods depended on the type of foodstuff. The methodology of looking for bias between analytical methods is critically discussed.

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