Mapping the texture of plant protein blends for meat analogues

Elsevier, Food Hydrocolloids, Volume 118, September 2021
Schreuders F.K.G., Sagis L.M.C., Bodnar I., Erni P., Boom R.M., van der Goot A.J.
The development of next-generation meat analogues can be accelerated by in-depth knowledge of the rheological properties of dense biopolymer blends. Blends comprising plant proteins such as pea protein isolate or soy protein isolate combined with wheat gluten can be used to create a wide range of structures. The objective of this study is to demonstrate the use of texture maps to systematically show the rheological properties of plant proteins under conditions relevant to processing of meat analogue products. The first texture map was constructed by plotting the stress and strain at the end of the linear viscoelastic regime of the strain sweeps and a second map was based on the stress and strain at the crossover point of those sweeps. Next, a colour scheme was used to visualize the relative importance of the viscous and elastic contributions as a function of the strain amplitude and different ratios of each protein in the blend. The maps and schemes showed that heating induced elasticity. In pea protein–wheat gluten blends, lower strain, stress and elasticity values were obtained for pea compared with wheat gluten. In soy protein–wheat gluten blends, the texture properties were almost similar for the two components. Soy protein–wheat gluten blends are tougher and more elastic than pea protein–wheat gluten blends.