What is the meaning of “as is” protein content versus “dry basis” protein content?

If you’re confused, you’re not alone! When speaking of protein contents, the only protein content (powder or liquid) that should concern a food processor is the “as is” protein content. Many protein manufacturers try to make their protein powder compositions look better by providing a “dry basis” protein content – the percent of protein based on total solids present, excluding water. All spray dried powders, however, contain some water content – usually about 4% to 5%. Therefore, a stated “dry basis” protein content of 90% in the average powder means that 90% of the 95% solids in that powder is protein (90% x 95%) which equals values anywhere from 85.5% to about 86.5% protein that is in the powder as you will be using it (otherwise known as the “as is” protein content). You want to know the “as is” protein content of the powder that you will be using because that is the protein content “as you will be using” the powder. When you compare protein contents of powders, be sure to compare the “as is” values. Do not compare a 90% “dry basis” value with an 85% “as is” value and think that you’re getting a much better buy with the 90%. Chances are that powder really only has an “as is” protein content of about 86%.