Plant-based meat analogs are likely to have different gastrointestinal fates than real meat products due to differences in their compositions and structures. Here, we compared the gastrointestinal fate of ground beef and ground beef analogs using the INFOGEST in vitro digestion model, focusing on differences in microstructure, physicochemical properties, lipid digestion, and protein digestion in different regions of the model gut. The presence of dietary fibers in the beef analogs increased their apparent shear viscosity in the gastrointestinal fluids, which may have inhibited lipid digestion in the small intestine. The proteins in the beef analogs were digested more rapidly in the stomach but less rapidly in the small intestine, which may have been due to differences in protein type (globular soy versus fibrous beef proteins), structural organization, and the presence of dietary fibers in the meat analogs.
Food Chemistry, Volume 364, 1 December 2021,