The production of meat substitute products with fibrous structures that resemble the mouthfeel and texture of real meat has been made possible by innovative shear cell technology from Wageningen University & Research. This technology is providing a new generation of meat substitute products.
The growth in population and increasing wealth mean the global demand for meat will double by 2050. This requires a sustainable solution in the form of meat substitute products that satisfy the wishes of meat-eating consumers. The preparation, mouthfeel and overall experience may not be inferior to meat. Meat substitute products that are created with shear cell technology have a fibrous structure of vegetable proteins that resembles the texture of pork and beef.
Both the formation process for the fibres and their length can be regulated precisely in the shear cell, so the texture of the product (fibrousness, bite, mouthfeel) can be controlled. This offers the possibility of developing multiple variations of meat substitute products in the future.
Economies of scale
Shear cell technology offers new ways in which to texture proteins into fibrous products such as meat substitutes. The technology also provides specific economies of scale.
The large-scale (industrial) sector scores shear cell technology higher than accessible extrusion technology in terms of energy input (25-40%). The cost of investment is also considerably less (40-60%). Various partners are working on the practical application of this technology in the 'Plant Meat Matters' project, which is bringing a new generation of meat substitute products ever closer.
Shear cell technology also appears to be the only technology that is suitable for the decentralised production of meat substitute products on a smaller scale (retail, food services, restaurants and domestic use).
This type of production has the following benefits: