On May 28th, the free webinar New Protein Resources took place. The webinar was offered in Chinese and English. Organizers, Jiangnan University (JU) and Wageningen University & Research (WUR) shared their knowledge with over 7000 viewers. This webinar was the first out of a series of six, the Future Food Cloud Series Forum.
Field leading researchers were involved in this webinar. Researchers from JU and WUR shared their most recent research achievements. Below you can find an overview of all presenters, topics and a short summary of their presentation.
Overview of presentations
Towards plant-based meat-analogue: Challenges and opportunities for protein transition and meat-analogues
At the beginning of the webinar, Dr. Ariette Matser gave the presentation with the topic “Towards plant-based meat-analogue: Challenges and opportunities for protein transition and meat-analogues”. With the increase of the population and the climate changes, the world needs more efficient and more sustainable protein resources. Therefore, new source protein such as plant-based protein is gaining more attentions.
Dr. Matser gave a summary related to meat analogue structuring technique, for example, extrusion, shear cell technology or 3D printing. She also mentioned there will be a conference regarding meat analogue on Mar 3rd to Mar 4th 2021. The topic of the conference is “Science & Technology for Meat Analogues”. Researchers all over the world are welcome to attend this conference.
Modification of soy protein: current techniques, applications in food and future prospects
The topic of Prof. Jie Chen’s presentation is “Modification of soy protein: current techniques, applications in food and future prospects”. In her presentation, Prof. Jie Chen mentioned the importance of soy protein in plan-based meat. She presented several methods of modifying the structure of soy protein products. However, she also mentioned there are still some challenges regarding the flavour of soy protein isolate. Many soy protein-based products can still have beany flavour. Therefore, they questioned the reason behind this phenomenon and how to solve it. When mixed SPI (soy protein isolate) with ester compounds, they found SPI may inhibit the release of ester compounds. However, the less volatile can promote the ester compounds’ flavour release in different SPI involved food products. At the end of her presentation, she stated the remaining challenges, such as improving the heat gelling ability and adhesiveness of SPI, or how to control the flavour compounds interaction with SPI and their release in oral cavity.
Science and technology for the next generation meat analogues
Prof. Atze Jan van der Goot gave his presentation of the “Science and technology for the next generation meat analogues”. Firstly, Prof. van der Goot introduced the shear cell technique applied for next generation meat analogue. But it still has some challenges, such as the structuring of the raw material or how to model the meat analogue system. He gave a two-phase system as an example. He introduced the closed cavity rheometer technique in his presentation and studied the blends of SPI (soy protein isolate) and gluten by using this technique. He stated that the structure of the two-phase system is different under different temperature. Then he compared the blends of SPI/gluten with the blends of PPI (pea protein isolate)/gluten under rheological study. They found that SPI/gluten is barely impacted by temperature. However, PPI/gluten is more time and temperature dependent. Prof. van der Goot gave a brief introduction of the mixture made with 30% calcium caseinate in water and transglutaminase, which can also be meat analogue. They studied the structure by different techniques, such as neutron scattering or microscopy. At the end of his presentation, he summarized some techniques to investigate the structure of next generation meat analogues, for instance closed cavity rheometer, neutron scattering etc.
Application of biotechnology in improvement of plant-based meat
Prof. Jingwen Zhou shared a presentation with the topic “Application of biotechnology in improvement of plant-based meat”. Prof. Jingwen Zhou claimed the sustainable meat processing is still facing serious obstacles due to climate changes, growing population, and environment pollution. He presented that there are two types of meat analogues, which are cultured meat and plant-based meat. Each of the meat analogue has their own limitations. He gave a detailed introduction of plant-based meat in this presentation. He gave some solutions and suggestions for future plant-based meat analogue improvement, for example, establishing microbial cell factory to design functional protein with better hydrophilic or lipophilic ability or improve protein quality by using enzyme techniques. At the end, Prof. Zhou also gave some recommendations of applying biotechnology to plant-based proteins.
The future food webinars aim to deepen the already outstanding cooperation between JU and WUR, and to solve the global new protein sources challenges.
There are five more webinars between JU and WUR regarding the future of food, which are 3D food printing, food preservation & the green supply chain, food safety &traceability, food nutrition & health omics and food perception. Some other well-known universities of institutes may also participate in later webinars.
Author: Xinxin Li, WUR alumni