Meat Analogues: Plant based alternatives to meat products- A review
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A meat analog, also called a meat substitute, mock meat, faux meat or imitation meat, approximates certain aesthetic qualities and chemical characteristics of specific types of meat. The consumption of vegetable proteins in food products has been increasing over the years because of animal diseases, global shortage of animal protein, strong demand for wholesome and religious (halal) food, and economic reasons. A meat-based diet requires a significantly greater amount of environmental resources per calorie compared to a more grain-based diet i.e. 2 to 15 kg plant foods are needed to produce 1 kg of meat. Developing new food products that are attractive to the consumers is a challenge. However, it is even more complex when these new foods are meant as a substitute for products that are highly appreciated and accepted, like meat. This challenge was accepted to develop new sustainable meat substitutes to reduce the negative environmental impact of industrial-scale meat production for human consumption. Happily there is an increasing importance of legume and oilseed proteins in the manufacturing of various functional food products due to their high-protein contents. However, the greatest obstacle to utilize these legumes and oilseeds is the presence of antinutrients, though these can successfully removed or inactivated by employing certain processing methods. Legumes and oilseeds provide well-balanced amino acid profiles when consumed with cereals. Soybean proteins, wheat gluten, cottonseed proteins, and other plant proteins have been used for preparation of meat anlogues successfully. Texturized vegetable proteins can substitute meat products while providing an economical, functional and high-protein food ingredient or can be consumed directly as a meat analogues. Meat analogues are successful because of their healthy image (cholesterol free), meat-like texture, and low cost. Mycoprotein a meat analog is fungal in origin and is used as a high-protein, low-fat, good texture and health-promoting food ingredient. Texturized vegetable proteins and a number of mycoprotein based products are accepted as analogues food. These are some constrains also in the production and consumption of meat analogues. Further research however is required to optimize molecular, nutritional, and functional properties of alternative protein sources to meat and to spread out the current knowledge to encourage the beneficial effects of alternative protein sources, as outlined in this review.
Meat Analogue, legumes and oilseeds, Antinutrients, Texturized vegetable protein, Soybean proteins, wheat gluten, Mycoprotein.