By definition, a meat analogue is something that replaces a main ingredient with something that is not meat. Meat analogue products have the potential to mimic the taste, texture, look, and functionality of meat-based foods.
Interest In Plant-Based Meat Analogues Is Growing
It’s likely not surprising to hear that Americans’—and other countries’ even—interest in these items is on the rise. Veganism in America grew by 600 percent between 2014 and 2017, according to one review study in the Journal of Animal Science and Technology. One estimation suggests that plant-based alternatives will hit $1.4 trillion worldwide by 2029.
So, what’s driving the interest in plant-based meat analogues? There are a few contributing factors. One is animal health and wellness; another reason is healthier foods; a strong desire for wholesome is also on the list; as are economic reasons.
That said, one of the biggest reasons and best selling points is their environmental impact—in general, they produce fewer greenhouse gases, and use less land and water to produce compared to their meat-y counterparts.
Traditional vs. Modern Plant-Based Meat Analogues
Also known as ‘imitation meat’ or ‘mock meat,’ meat analogues aren’t exactly new. In fact, soy protein made into tofu and tempeh has been around for a long while, and consumed for centuries. Then there’s textured vegetable protein (aka TVP) which is ever-so-slightly more modern, and most often made from extruded defatted soy or wheat gluten. TVP is inexpensive, and texturized soy protein specifically is quite versatile. Texturized soy protein is usually used to extend meat in a beef, turkey, or chicken patty, canned meat, and even pet food.
The most modern plant-based meat is one that has attributes that more closely mimics, and is nearly indistinguishable from, animal-based alternatives. Think: Impossible Burger or Beyond Burger.
But there are drawbacks to both traditional meat replacement products and some of these newer faux meats. Taste and texture are crucial for a food product to be successful. Pea protein can have a chalky, bitter flavor that often require masking agents and expensive flavor additives. The strong flavor and bean-y element to soy-based products can also be a deterrent for many. Plus, the texture of the final product—when soy protein is added as a binder or emulsifier—is sometimes softer and lacks the “snap” that meat has.
Another drawback is allergies. Using soybeans can have an allergenic effect, as it’s one of the top 9 major allergens. Similarly, using protein from cereal grains (think: wheat, rye, and barley) presents a challenge because of the growing number of people who have gluten intolerance. And because some experts caution that pea protein allergies may be more prevalent than we realize, formulating with pea protein could also present future challenges.
The Best Plant Protein to Formulate Meat Analogues With: V-70™ Hemp Heart Protein
Incorporating hemp protein, and specifically Victory Hemp’s V-70™ Hemp Heart Protein, into your meat alternative is the way to go. It’s a complete protein—meaning it delivers all of the essential amino acids the human body needs.
There Are 6 Benefits to Formulating Your Plant-based Meat Analogue with V-70™.
- Holds water and oil well. V-70™ has shown promising ability to bind water and oils in meat analogue formats enabling the creation of moist and juicy burger patties that have good mouthfeel and bite resistance. Simply season with your favorite seasonings and flavor potentiators for a spectacularly meaty product.
- Emulsifying capacity. In addition to holding oil and water—and, in part, because our hemp heart protein holds oil and water well—V-70™ has good emulsifying capacity, and this also contributes to a moist and juicy burger patty, and may reduce the number of added ingredients, allowing for a simplified ingredient list.
- Not a major allergen. V-70™ Hemp Heart Protein is also not an international allergen. This broadens your consumer base, and also simplifies ingredient labels on packaging.
- Light color. Because V-70™ is made from just the hemp heart, and not other components of the hempseed, it is light white in color. That light color profile makes it easy to add desired colors and natural pigments to further enhance the end product and consumer experience. Or, the lighter color means you can reduce or eliminate ingredient whiteners, such as titanium dioxide, which then simplifies your ingredient deck.
- Neutral flavor. Traditional hemp protein powders are grassy in their flavor. But, again, because V-70™ is made from hemp hearts, this protein powder has a very mild taste that will blend into your food formulation more seamlessly than most other common plant proteins.
- In-demand from consumers. Yes, plant protein is increasingly popular, as is consumer interest in hemp overall. And there are some major perks to our V-70™ protein: it’s color and taste allow you to formulate a “cleaner” more streamlined ingredient list for your product; hemp protein is a complete protein, so other plant proteins aren’t required per se in formulation; and also, V-70™ delivers more protein (a nutrient consumers are very interested in) than other hemp protein powders.
Trial V-70™ Hemp Heart Protein In Your Lab!
Request a sample today, and ask for the latest V-70™ burger recipe, developed by our team of food scientists.