Several factors are leading consumers to eat less meat. Whether it be to help fight environmental issues or to improve their diets, one thing has been made clear: meat and non-meat eaters alike are interested in trying alternative meats.
Technology innovations had lead meat alternatives, such as Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, to be sold in stores and in restaurants. Food Institute found that extrusion is one of the key technologies that is pushing the sector to be succession. Extrusion is a thermomechanical process that can be plasticized and pushed through a die by combining pressured heat and mechanical shear.
With this process, the fake meat can form similar textures to the real. In addition, the appearance is also similar to cooked meat while their high protein content offers a similar nutritional value.
Meanwhile additive manufacturing is also being experimented with as plant-based meat has the potential of being customizable. A 3D printer can mimic muscle fibers that are found in real meat as well as the way that fat and water are in the meat matrix, Food Institute finds.
Cellular agriculture is also emerging as a necessary technology in the alternative meats market as it uses a combination of biotechnology, tissue engineering, molecular biology and synthetic biology to create new proteins, fats and tissues. The FDA and USDA have recently regulated the production of cell-cultured meat alternatives as well.
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