Reducing flavour and texture issues with legume-based foods and ingredients
To ensure a sustainable global food supply for the fast-growing world population, a transition from animal- to plant-based foods is required. Currently, farmers, food industry and knowledge institutes invest in developing, producing and selling plant-based products; meat and dairy alternatives being the most important product categories. However, the development of tasty, stable and healthy plant-based foods that are accepted by the consumer is often a struggle for the food industry. This project focusses on strategies to solve sensory issues of plant-based dairy and meat alternatives, as sensory quality is a decisive parameter in consumer acceptance. More specifically, this project focusses on the impact of product preparation (processing) on flavour and texture issues of legumes (pea, faba bean and soy) in drinks, cheese-like products, burger- and sausage type products. Typical issues in these product categories are off-flavours, such as beany flavour, bitterness, and texture defects, such as grittiness in drinks and toughness and insufficient juiciness in meat alternatives. The approach in this project is to measure the flavour and texture properties in raw materials (flours/meals, protein concentrates and protein isolates) and products (drinks, cheese-like products, burger, sausage) and investigate the effect of processing on removal and/or formation of flavour and texture defects. Hereby, the impact of ingredient processing (protein extraction) and of inherent protein properties (such as their astringent mouthfeel) is not included as other subsidy project are working on these issues. The results of this two-year project will allow the industry to develop plant-based food products that fulfil the consumer demands and expectations and, thereby contribute to the protein transition.