Should we stop eating chicken due bird flu?
Plant-based foods are one area of great interest to meet this need.
While plant-based foods have come on leaps and bounds, there is still, however, a lot of room for improvement when it comes to satisfying the devout carnivore. Thus there is a need in re-writing the food design rules. With the help of scientific experts across a range of food and academic disciplines and by embracing technology, aim is to create plant-based foods that people crave.
People have started to take a holistic approach to the science of food. The food science community, as a whole, tends to be insular, and R&D departments rely on tactics like sensory testing, flavoring and stabilizers to improve taste and texture.
If we really want to take plant-based foods to the next level, however, we need to look beyond these traditional techniques. We need to constantly explore what other scientific disciplines can tell us about food: from how it is structured and how its chemicals break down in our mouths, to the psychology behind our favorite flavors.
Animal agriculture is one of the leading contributors to human-made greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, raising livestock requires large amounts of water and land.
With a growing population, we need to explore how to meet the increasing demand for protein while also combating climate change.
Plant-based food production is considered to be more sustainable for the global, growing protein demand, requiring fewer environmental inputs and less land for production of protein.
This doesn’t mean that people must cut meat from their diets entirely, however. If consumption of meat, poultry and pork is reduced and substituted by plant proteins, the country would reduce its greenhouse gas emissions considerably per year. Goal is to encourage “flexitarian” diets by making plant-based foods that people crave.
What could be the biggest challenges in replicating meat-based food textures and mouthfeel with meat alternative materials ?
Texture represents one of the biggest sensory gaps between current plant-based meats and their animal-derived counterparts, and the most significant challenge facing brands hoping to win over consumers in today’s crowded market. The main problem is that there’s still much to uncover on how texture is formulated on the molecular level — the interactions between fat, protein and water that give different types of foods different mouthfeels.
What one can look for is working hard to improve the quality of the protein one gets from plant-based foods - also finding completely new ways to improve flavor and texture so these foods can taste and feel amazing without having to add so much salt, sugar or oil. more