• A meat substitute (left) resembles chicken meat (right), but its proteins are not absorbed as well by human cells.
Credit: Adapted from Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2022, DOI: 10.1021/acs.jafc.2c01711
    A meat substitute (left) resembles chicken meat (right), but its proteins are not absorbed as well by human cells. Credit: Adapted from Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2022, DOI: 10.1021/acs.jafc.2c01711
Close×

A study in the US shows human cells absorb less protein from plant-based meat than from chicken, with researchers saying the findings will drive further studies on what ingredients could boost the peptide uptake of alternative meats.

The paper was reported in the American Chemical Society (ACS) Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

“To mimic the look and texture of the real thing, plants are dehydrated into a powder and mixed with seasonings. Then, the mixtures are typically heated, moistened and processed through an extruder.

“These products are often thought of as being more healthful than animal meats because the plants used to make them are high in protein and low in undesirable fats,” the researchers from Ohio State University said.

Lab tests showed proteins in substitutes did not break down into peptides as well as conventional meats.

The team made a model meat alternative made from soy and wheat gluten, with a similar fibrous structure as chicken.

The model and chicken were cooked, ground up, and the broken down with an enzyme humans use to digest food.

The plant-based meat peptides were less water-soluble than chicken and no absorbed as well as the chicken.

The researches said this knowledge could be used to develop more healthful products.

Full study is here.

Packaging News

In the first year of PKN’s Women in Packaging Awards programme, industry has stepped up with meaning. The response has been phenomenal, and the judges had their work cut out for them selecting the finalists from a competitive field of high-calibre nominees.

At The Hive Awards in Sydney today, the Best Packaging category was won by Don Smallgoods, part of George Weston Foods, for its resealable flow wrap pack for sandwich fillers and other smallgoods. This innovative packaging is a departure from the conventional thermoformed packs and addresses consumer demands for better functionality, sustainability, and product visibility.

Applications for the 2024 APCO Annual Awards are now open, and are open to all of industry to apply.