Texture methods for evaluating meat and meat analogue structures : A review

Schreuders, Floor K.G.; Schlangen, Miek; Kyriakopoulou, Konstantina; Boom, Remko M.; Goot, Atze Jan van der


Meat analogue products are considered to help consumers reducing their meat consumption. Their key success factor is their high similarity in sensory properties compared to meat. Even though the structure and texture characteristics of meat are well documented, dedicated methods used to analyse meat analogues are limited still. This review summarises texture and structure analysis methods of meat and meat analogues: mechanical testing; for example Texture Profile Analysis, spectroscopy; for example NMR and imaging techniques; for example hyperspectral imaging. Furthermore, the advantages and limitations of each texture and structure method are described. Finally, characterizations aspects specific to meat analogues are discussed. Promising methods for future research are described that have potential to get more insight into the fibers of meat analogues and the structure development during thermomechanical processing of meat analogues. Industrial relevance: To be commercially successful for large groups of consumers, alternatives for meat should be highly similar to meat. That is why meat analogues should resemble existing meat in their texture. It is thus important to understand the texture properties with the help of relevant techniques, such as mechanical, spectroscopy and imaging techniques. In this manuscript, we describe promising texture methods for characterization of properties specific to meat analogues. The development of novel techniques to quantify meat analogue properties will stimulate the development of meat analogues that satisfy the values and wishes of consumers.