Plant PROtein Meat alternatIveS using Extrusion

Projecttitel: PlantPROMISE: Plant PROtein Meat alternatIveS using Extrusion
Projectnummer: LWV19027
Missie: Gewaardeerd, gezond en veilig voedsel
MMIP: D4: Duurzame en veilige verwerking
Looptijd: 2020 – 2023
Projectleider: Stacy Pyett

For a sustainable supply of healthy food for the growing population, a transition is needed from animal proteins towards sustainably produced, often plant-derived, proteins. Alternatives of sustainable produced proteins for consideration to be included into the human diet are urgently needed. The current meat analogues are mainly based on soy protein and gluten and in a limited amount on other sources like lupine or pea. These protein sources are fractionated towards standardised protein rich powders, often mixed with other ingredients, and processed towards meat analogues. The fractionation processes use a considerable amount of energy, and result in by-products that are often difficult to include in products for human consumption. If we can tune the processing of ingredients towards specific applications for meat analogues, for which milder conditions may be needed than for the production of the standardized protein powders, more of the raw material may be applicable and more sustainable production routes for meat analogues can be developed. 

Furthermore, a wider range of protein sources can be used. PlantPROMISE focusses on extrusion as structuring process. Extrusion is an established and highly versatile technique for the production of food. It enables a continuous and cost-effective means of production and is currently applied for the production of meat analogues, mainly based on soy. A major obstacle for consumer acceptance of current available (extruded) meat analogues are the poor texture, flavour and juiciness as compared to real meat products. Limitations of extrusion for meat analogues are the lack of understanding of the relevant physical and chemical processes in the extruder and the cooling die, and the relation of processing with the resulting texture and juiciness. The poor understanding is also limiting the use of alternative protein sources than the highly refined soy protein isolate. The current empirical knowledge is very difficult to translate to alternative protein sources.

Alternatives for meat, made from sustainably produced proteins for the human diet are urgently needed. This project focus is to develop novel, high quality products but also to create standards for quality and to optimise the production, in particular to develop meat-alternatives which have an optimal digestibility and bioactivity as contained in their peptides.

The PlantPROMISE project aims to develop a new generation of novel, high quality extruded meat analogues using the improved understanding of physico-chemical processing in the extruder, combined with a better understanding of product attributes like texture, flavour, juiciness, digestibility and sustainability that are acceptable to the consumer. The project focusses on pre-competitive technology and know-how in a cross value-chain collaboration to translate fundamental insights to application understanding.

jaarrapportage 2019