A meat analog, (also known as a meat alternative, mock meat, fake meat, or imitation meat), approximates sure aesthetic characteristics and chemical traits of the meat. The intake of vegetable proteins in meals products has been growing through the years because of animal diseases, global scarcity of animal protein, sturdy demand for wholesome and religious (halal) food, economic and most importantly environmental motives. A meat-based eating regimen calls for a notably more quantity of environmental sources according to calories compared to a vegetarian meal plan. That is 2 to 15 kg plant foods are needed to produce 1 kg of meat.
Developing new meals merchandise that is attractive to the consumers is a task. But, it’s far even greater complex when those new foods are intended alternatively for products that can be enormously favored and common, like meat. These challenges turned into universal to develop new sustainable meat substitutes to reduce the terrible environmental effect of industrial-scale meat manufacturing for human consumption.
- Meat Proteins
Meat is considered as the highest quality protein source not only because of its dietary traits especially proteins however additionally due to its attractive taste. The role of meat proteins is two-fold. On one hand, meat proteins have all of the important amino acids carefully equivalent to the human body that, cause them to be exceptionally nutritious. Alternatively, the meat proteins substantially contribute to the growth and improvement of the food industry employing imparting particular functionalities to the product.
The essential protein functionalities in processed meats are gelation and associated homes (for example, meat particle binding and adhesion, emulsification, and water-conserving ability. Among the commercial proteins used in the food industry, gelatin has been regarded as both special and unique, serving multiple functions with a wide range of applications in various industries.
- Meat Analogues
Vegetarian foods occupy a larger than ever shelf space in today’s market due to the consumers’ growing health concerns and the associated environmental problems. Analogue may be defined as the compound that is structurally similar to another but differs slightly in composition. The beef analogue is a meal that is structurally just like meat but differs in composition.
Meat analogue, additionally called a meat replacement, mock meat, fake meat, or imitation meat, approximates the aesthetic characteristics (by and large texture, flavor, and look) and/or chemical characteristics of specific forms of meat. It can also confer with a meat-based, more healthy, and/or less expensive alternative to a selected meat product.
Generally, meat analogue is thought to intend a food crafted from non-meats ingredients, sometimes without dairy products, and are to be had in distinct forms. Normally, meat analogues are made from soy protein or gluten.
- Function of Meat Analogue
The main function of meat analogues is to replace meat in the diet. The market for meat analog does not only includes vegetarians but also the non-vegetarian seeking to reduce their meat consumption for health or ethical reasons, and people following religious dietary laws, such as Kashrut, Halal, and Buddhist.
- Usage & Benefits
Some meat analogues are based on centuries-old recipes for wheat gluten, rice, mushrooms, legumes,
tempeh, or pressed-tofu, with flavoring delivered to make the finished product taste like chicken, red meat, lamb, ham, sausage, seafood, and many others. They can be used to reduce formulation costs due to the fact they may be less expensive than meat. Other attributes include the ability to maintain water and moisture at some point of cooking, reheating, freezing, and thawing makes them exceedingly appreciable.
Texturized vegetable proteins (TVP) are commonly used to offer the preferred pleasant, texture, binding capacity, and desired amount of chewiness, or to make a product less attackable or softer. There are numerous health benefits of meat analogue intake over the meat such as protection towards coronary heart sickness, decrease blood cholesterol, reduced risk of cancer, and increasing bone mass. Food scientists at the moment are developing meat alternatives that genuinely flavor like meat and feature the identical “mouth sense” of their nature-made counterparts.
- Types of Food Used as Meat Analogue
- Soya meat /Textured vegetable proteins (TVP): Soya meat, or textured vegetable protein (TVP), is produced from soybeans primarily in Asian countries. The production method is somewhat laborious but, the end product has a fibrous consistency similar to that of meat. With different seasonings, a great variety of flavours can be achieved. Soya meat is extremely rich in protein with a protein content of over 50 percent, but the protein content drops when TVP is rehydrated.
TVP has been developed in the USA and was introduced to the European market in the late 1960s, though with modest success. But it should be noted that the quality of TVP has improved for the last 40 years. TVP is produced using hot extrusion of defatted soy proteins, resulting in expanded high protein chunks, nuggets, strips, grains, and other shapes, where the denatured proteins give TVP textures similar to the meat. The fibrous, insoluble, porous TVP can soak up water or other liquids a multiple of its weight. Textured soy proteins (TSP) are processed to impart a structure and appearance that resembles meat, seafood, or poultry when hydrated. Soy protein products have become increasingly popular because of their low price, high nutritional quality, and versatile functional properties. Two important soybean protein products are soy protein concentrate (SPC) and soy protein isolate (SPI).
- Quorn–the mycoproteins: Quorn is the brand name for a line of foods made from mycoprotein. Quorn products take the form of faux chicken patties, nuggets, and cutlets, as well as imitation ground beef. It springs from a single-celled fungus grown in large fermentation vats which are processed and textured to produce a food that can be easily manipulated for meat.
- Tofu: Tofu derived from soybeans is perhaps the most widely recognized alternative for Paneer. It is an excellent source of protein, calcium, and iron. It is usually available in block form. ‘Tofu’ prepared by coagulation of soymilk by CaSO4 or MgCl2 contains about 8% of total proteins, 4-5% lipids, and about 2% of carbohydrates on a fresh weight basis. Tofu has a special nutritional value due to the presence of dietary fibers (about 1%) and the absence of cholesterol, as well as a very low energy value.
- Tempeh: Tempeh is made from soybeans that have been soaked and cooked to soften them. Like sourdough bread, tempeh requires a starter culture/inoculum (Rhizopus oligoporus), which is added to the cooked beans. This mixture is left for 24 hours and the result is a firm-textured product with a somewhat nutty flavor and a texture similar to a chewy mushroom.
New plant-based meat analogues should taste, feel and smell better, or at least as good as animal meat according to the perceptions of the majority of consumers. Probably, flavor (umami flavor associated with meat) and texture (fibre like as in meat products) are the most important keys to success, and at the same time, the biggest challenges for the researchers. It can be concluded that there is a demand as well as bright future of such products in the market keeping aside a few constraints which need a solution but with a heap of opportunities.