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Structuring the meat analogue by using plant-based derived composites

Yuliarti, Oni, Kiat Kovis, Tay Jun, Yi, Ng Jun
Journal of food engineering 2021 v.288 pp. 110138
chewiness, crosslinking, hardness, meat, meat analogs, microstructure, pea protein, physicochemical properties, protein content, sensory properties, texture, viscoelasticity, wheat protein
This study investigated different plant-based composites to develop plant-based meat alternatives that have unique texture profiles using an innovative process of freeze structuring technique. The composite comprised pea protein (PP) and wheat protein (WP) with five different ratios i.e.17:0; 13:4; 8.5:8.5; 4:13 and 0:17. The physicochemical and sensory properties of the analogues were studied in detail. The results showed the analogue with the ratio of 4:13 (PP4: WP13, PP4) was the most preferred analogue as compared to the rest of formulations. Microstructure of this analogue indicated fibrous and layered structure. The analogue textural profiles and structure were found to be related to their viscoelastic properties and were strongly affected by the extent of cross-linking between protein molecules. Incorporation of pea protein appeared to increase the hardness, chewiness as well as the viscoelastic properties of the analogue. The opposite trend was observed when the amount of wheat protein in the formulation was increased i.e. it lowered the analogue textural and viscoelastic properties. The ratio between plant proteins did not affect the moisture (~60%) and protein content (~25 %w/w) of the analogues. This study allowed for a deeper understanding of composite effects in structuring the plant-based meat alternatives and their physicochemical properties. It highlighted the potential of plant protein composite usage in the development of satisfactory meat analogues.