Novel processing concepts for making fibrous food products

Dekkers, B.L.; Goot, A.J. van der


A route to make Western diets more sustainable is through reduction of the consumption of animal-derived products. The simplest route to achieve this is to replace animal-derived products with vegetables, beans or pulses. However, modern consumers highly appreciate the texture and juiciness of meat. That is why scientists and food engineers aim to mimic the structure of meat using plant-derived ingredients. In this book chapter, we describe the need to reduce meat consumption in more detail and outline current processes to make today's meat analog products. However, the current products do not satisfy all consumer demands with respect to taste, texture and/or price. That is why we present novel routes and processing concepts currently being studied to make meat analogs. Those routes include concepts that aim to rebuild structures using molecular orientation, cellular imitation and methods that aim to alter naturally present structures in plant materials. The chapter ends by reviewing possible raw materials to be used in those applications and the importance of understanding the effect on functional properties when preparing the ingredients.