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Research & Development

Delicious tofu, made possible through research and development projects on plant alternatives

Research and development

Project plant-based meat via plant protein extrudates

Plant-based meat closely resembles an animal-based meat product in its organoleptic properties, using one or a combination of vegetable protein ingredients. The scope of this prooject is limited to addressing the creation and potential process systems for plant-based meat involving extrusion technology.

Due to the amino acid composition, vegetable proteins are considered to be of very high quality and are predestined for use in vegan meat substitute products. However, so far there has been research and development work on the texturing of vegetable proteins only for a few plant-derived proteins e.g. soy and pea, the other sources are not well developed yet.

The development of high-quality plant-based texturates for use in meat alternatives requires the optimization of the raw material component (isolate / concentrate), the formulation of a suitable recipe and the identification of optimal process conditions during extrusion.

The aim of the project is to develop textured plant proteins for use as a meat substitute and in cereals and the associated extrusion process. The plant protein texturates should be characterized by the following properties: Protein content 50 ≥ 70 (meat substitute) or 20 – 40% (cereals), grain sizes 2 – 5 mm / 5 – 20 mm, 100% GMO-free, vegan / BIO, water absorption capacity, meat-like texture or crispy texture for cereals.

The process of extrusion transforms native ingredient biopolymers (inputs) into a continuous semi-solid (output). To complete this process, a screw system within a barrel conveys mass (a combination of dry ingredients, water, and/or oil) through a die (small opening). The mass is exposed to a combination of parameters, including heat, mechanical energy,pressure, and moisture. The continuous fluid passes through the extruder according to its specific parameters, exits a die, and is cut into various lengths. Post-extrusion, the output is semi-solid andretains moisture.

Vegetarian food thanks to our research and development
Green plant leaves

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