Studies of consumers have indicated that meat substitute products that resemble the original meat will most likely have the highest chance of market success.
That’s where shear-cell technology comes in.
Up to now, meat substitutes can be made with approximately the same texture as chicken meat, but researchers hope shear-cell technology will put an end to dry and flavour-less mock meats, allowing them replicate the taste and texture of a juicy steak.
Baking the vegetable mixture at 130C and putting it through a Couette shear cell device machine makes the plant proteins resemble the fibrous nature of meat, and have the same look, taste and texture in the mouth as real meat.
The Dutch ministry of economic affairs has commissioned designs for upscaling the technology.
In the Netherlands, the most densely populated nation in the world, with the highest density of livestock in Europe, the pressure to go meatless, or at least to eat less meat, is more intense.
The thinking behind the PMP project is that world population is growing, and the increasing need for protein for human consumption cannot be met with meat alone.
It is hoped vegetable meat substitutes which which emulate the taste, perception and nutritional value of meats can also increase quality of life and help protect the environment, because meat production consumes so much water, land and energy, and results in high greenhouse-gas emissions.
In addition, the substitutes will be welcomed by an increasing consumer group unhappy with some aspects of the meat industry such as animal welfare.
Consumer tastes also tell the story.
Almost two thirds of Germans and 38% of Americans eat meatless meals once a week or more — consumers known as “flexitarians” — Innova Market Insights 2016 surveys found.
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