Effect of plant protein extrudates on hybrid meatballs – Changes in nutritional composition and sustainability

Elsevier, Future Foods, Volume 4, December 2021
Baune M.-C., Jeske A.-L., Profeta A., Smetana S., Broucke K., Van Royen G. et al.
To feed the world's growing population in the future, there must be a protein transition from animal-based to more sustainable, plant-based sources. Hybrid plant-meat products can bridge the protein-transition and are also focused on nutritional and sustainability aspects. While the addition of powdered proteins changes the texture of meat products, textured proteins have been shown to achieve higher sensorial acceptability. Six hybrid pork meatballs, each made with 30% wet or dry textured protein from regional pea, sunflower or Styrian pumpkin seeds and canola oil, were produced and analyzed for their fatty acid, amino acid and sustainability changes compared to respective controls. All hybrids had a higher content in essential linoleic and α-linolenic acid, an improved ω-6:ω-3 ratio and the hypothetic content in dietary fibers increased. On the contrary, the hypothetic protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score for children and therefore protein quality of the hybrids was slightly reduced, albeit high in comparison to the plant-based raw materials. The environmental impact of all hybrids was reduced in a protein- and texturization-dependent manner. Wet texturization seemed to be more sustainable than dry texturization. We conclude that textured plant proteins are a promising additive to produce meat hybrids with improved texture, nutritional composition and sustainability.