He became a professor of chemistry at Rotterdam and later at Utrecht. While at Utrecht University, he described the chemical composition of protein. He claimed that albuminous substances are made up of a common radical, protein, and that protein had the same empirical formula, except for some variation in amounts of sulfur and phosphorus, long before the polymer nature of proteins was recognised after work by Hermann Staudinger and Wallace Carothers.
He was the first to use the name protein, coined by Jöns Jacob Berzelius, in a publication, his 1838 paper 'On the composition of some animal substances' (originally in French but translated in 1839 to German). In the same publication, he also proposed that animals draw most of their protein from plants.
On the composition of some animal substances Translation of parts of Mulder's article from: Mikulás Teich, A Documentary History of Biochemistry, 1770-1940 (Rutherford, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1992)
"Ueber die Zusammensetzung einiger thierischen Substanzen". Journal für Praktische Chemie (in German). 16: 129–152. 1839. doi:10.1002/prac.18390160137.