Against the backdrop of the global protein transition needed to remain within planetary boundaries, there is an influx of plant-based meat alternatives that seek to approximate the texture, flavor and/or nutrient profiles of conventional animal meat. These novel plant-based meat alternatives, enabled by advances in food technology, can be fundamentally different from the whole-plant foods from which they are derived. One of the reasons is the necessity to use food additives on various occasions, since consumers’ acceptance of plant-based meat products primarily depends on the organoleptic properties. Consequently, a high degree of heterogeneity in formulation and nutritional profiles exists both within and between product categories of plant-based meat alternatives with unknown effects on several aspects of human health. This is further complicated by the differences in digestibility and bioavailability between proteins from animal and plant sources, which have a profound impact on colonic fermentation, nutritional adequacy and potential health effects. On the other hand, emerging strategies provide opportunities to develop affordable, delicious and nutritious plant-based meat alternatives that align with consumer interests.
Advances in Food and Nutrition Research, Volume 106, 2023, pp 241-274,