Functionality of ingredients and additives in plant-based meat analogues

Kyriakopoulou, Konstantina; Keppler, Julia K.; Goot, Atze Jan van der


Meat analogue research and development focuses on the production of sustainable products that recreate conventional meat in its physical sensations (texture, appearance, taste, etc.) and nutritional aspects. Minced products, like burger patties and nuggets, muscle-type products, like chicken or steak-like cuts, and emulsion products, like Frankfurter and Mortadella type sausages, are the major categories of meat analogues. In this review, we discuss key ingredients for the production of these novel products, with special focus on protein sources, and underline the importance of ingredient functionality. Our observation is that structuring processes are optimized based on ingredients that were not originally designed for meat analogues applications. Therefore, mixing and blending different plant materials to obtain superior functionality is for now the common practice. We observed though that an alternative approach towards the use of ingredients such as flours, is gaining more interest. The emphasis, in this case, is on functionality towards use in meat analogues, rather than classical functionality such as purity and solubility. Another trend is the exploration of novel protein sources such as seaweed, algae and proteins produced via fermentation (cellular agriculture).