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Questions and Answers on Alternate Protein Products

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APP is the acronym for “Alternate Protein Product.” The term "Alternate Protein Product" is the name used by FNS to identify products meeting requirements set forth in Appendix A of the NSLP, SBP, SFSP, and the CACFP within the section entitled Alternate Protein Products. 

An APP is required 

  1. to be processed so that some portion of the non-protein constituents of the food is removed, 
  2. to have a biological quality at least 80% that of casein using the PDCAAS method, and 
  3. to contain at least 18% protein by weight when fully hydrated or formulated. 

These requirements are found in Appendix A to 7 CFR 210, 220, 225, and 226. Some examples of APPs include soy flours, soy concentrates, soy isolates, whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate and casein. Processed food items, such as a vegetarian burger or patty, may contain APPs but the entire item cannot be considered an APP as the food item contains other ingredients such as seasonings or breading.


Page updated: March 05, 2024

The contents of this guidance document do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.