Innovation: High quality meat-like products

Last update: 22.08.2013
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Keywords: 
scientific research, energy saving, economic aspects
Several environmental and health-promoting issues substantiate the shift from an animal protein, in particular meat, to a vegetable protein based diet. Although meat analogues have attracted increasing industry and consumer attention, the market for these products is still very small. This is probably due to the fact that commercial available meat analogues - in particular their sensory qualities - do not meet consumer preferences implicating a renunciative and critical position against those products. To obtain a larger market share, the development of meat analogues with superior textural and sensorial quality and concomitantly wide consumer acceptance is a prerequisite.

The project LikeMeat aims at the development of meat analogues with excellent, well-accepted texture, juiciness, appearance and aroma based on plant proteins and combinations with appropriate hydrocolloids.

Therefore, detailed knowledge about protein aggregation, protein interactions with other components in the recipe and the impact of processing conditions on product quality is required. Another focus will be on odour-active compounds and strategies to adapt the process and the formulation for simulating meat aroma.

To improve the shelf-life and ensure the safety of the products, the microbiota of the used raw materials and intermediate products and their degradation kinetics during the production of meat analogues will be analysed.
The development of refined and microbiological safe products enables the SMEs to launch first products at short notice. An extensive assessment of consumer preferences and needs will reveal the sensorial drawbacks of currently available meat substitutes and will facilitate the research activities for the development of innovative products with high consumer acceptance but also prosperous marketing strategies.

PROJECT GOALS:

The overall objective of the project is the development of meat analogues with excellent, well accepted texture, juiciness, appearance and flavour.

To achieve this goal, plant proteins and mixtures of plant and animal (milk, egg) proteins will be converted into fibrous structures and stabilised. This requires a detailed knowledge about protein aggregation, protein interactions with other components in the recipe and the impact of processing conditions on product quality. The findings will facilitate the selection of appropriate raw materials (mimicking meat proteins) and the optimisation of the recipes in order to obtain products similar to the reference meat containing goods.

A fundamental evaluation of consumer preferences, acceptance and needs (PAN) will allow target-oriented food developments and the promise of well-accepted products. By monitoring all raw materials and processing steps as well as packaging and storage conditions a long shelf-life at a maximum of food safety and product quality will be reached.

The scientific and technical objectives can be summarised as follows:

1. The assessment of consumer preferences and needs with respect to enhancing the acceptance of meat replacers
2. Identification of promising protein sources
3. Improving the texture and juiciness of meat analogues
4. Description of the impact of processing parameters on aroma development
5. The adaption of aromatisation and seasoning
6. Development of finished products such as convenience foods and delicatessen products
7. Improvement of the shelf-life and ensuring the safety of the products
LikeMeat aims to enable small and medium sized enterprises to develop meat analogues with excellent texture, juiciness, appearance and aroma having high consumer acceptance in order to participate in this growing market sector.

This aim will be achieved by exploring in detail raw material characteristics with respect to process behaviour and texture and flavour.
Further microbiota in raw, intermediate and end products will be carefully monitored to improve the shelf-life and ensure the safety of the products.
An extensive assessment of consumer preferences, acceptance and needs will allow target-orientated food developments and the promise of well-accepted products for end users.
The European LikeMeat project has developed meat surrogates from plant proteins. These meat surrogates have very similar structure to real meat, are more accepted by consumers than traditional meat substitutes, and make a contribution to sustainable food production.

The plant-based products developed in the LikeMeat project provide comparable eating enjoyment to conventional meat products. They can be used to prepare, for example, schnitzel, roulade, goulash, diced meat, and burgers/meatballs. This thus provides consumers with readily available alternatives to meat products.

The manufacturing process converts the main components, namely plant protein and water, into products having a fibrous texture akin to muscle tissue and having a water content akin to meat. In contrast to existing textured products made via cooking extrusion, a special cooling nozzle is used to suppress expansion of the product and the design of the nozzle channel results in fiber formation.

The key step of the process is the fiber formation which creates the required mouth-feel and meat-like texture, namely features which are vital for product acceptance by consumers. The fibrous structure develops in the cooling channel of the extruder, and involves protein molecules joining to become chains. Proteins from what, peas, lupins, and soybeans are suitable raw materials for the production.
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This innovation is the result of the project

Title: High quality meat-like products - from niche markets to widely accepted meat alternatives

Acronym: 
LIKEMEAT

Runtime: 
01.11.2010 to 28.02.2013

Status: 
completed project

Organisations and people involved in this eco-innovation.

Please click on an entry to view all contact details.

FRAUNHOFER-GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FOERDERUNG DER ANGEWANDTEN FORSCHUNG E.V

Field: Scientific research and development (Germany)

Role in project: Project Coordination

Contact person: Dr. WILD Florian

Website: http://www.fraunhofer.de

Phone: +49-8161 491-416

Contact

BENEO-ORAFTI SA

(Germany)

Contact person: Dr. KOWALCZYK Jörg

Phone: +49-6359803308

Contact

CEAMSA - COMPANIA ESPANOLA DE ALGAS MARINAS SA

(Spain)

Contact person: Dr. LAUSTSEN Karen

Website: http://www.ceamsa.com

Phone: +34-986344089

Contact

CYBERCOLLOIDS LIMITED

(Ireland)

Contact person: Mr. CAMPBELL Ross

Website: http://www.cybercolloids.net

Phone: +44-1244330091

Contact

ETOL, TOVARNA AROM IN ETERICNIH OLJ, D.D.

(Slovenia)

Contact person: Dr. DAIMINGER Reiner

Website: http://www.etol.com

Phone: +386-34277128

Contact

M. RUIG EN ZONEN BV

(Netherlands)

Contact person: Mr. RUIG Jan

Website: http://www.ruig.nl

Phone: +31-756847330

Contact

MUEHLSCHLEGEL ZUR ANGERMUEHLE GMBH & CO. KG

(Germany)

Contact person: Mr. WILD-GENG Dietrich

Phone: +49-735134050

Contact

NEUBURGER GMBH & CO KG

(Austria)

Contact person: NEUBURGER Hermann

Website: http://www.neuburger.at

Phone: +43-728870010

Contact

PRIME COMMUNICATION & CORPORATE FINANCE - CONSULTING GMBH

(Austria)

Contact person: Dr. ALBESEDER Werner

Website: http://www.prime.co.at

Phone: +43-131725820

Contact

RADATZ FLEISCHWAREN-VERTRIEBSGESELLSCHAFT M.B.H.

(Austria)

Contact person: Mr. HAMMERL Andreas

Website: http://www.radatz.com

Phone: +43-166110854

Contact

STICHTING DIENST LANDBOUWKUNDIG ONDERZOEK

(Netherlands)

Contact person: Mr. VAN DEURSEN Ruben

Phone: +31-317482985

Contact

UNIVERSITAET FUER BODENKULTUR WIEN

(Austria)

Contact person: Dr. DOMIG Konrad J.

Website: http://www.boku.ac.at

Phone: +43-1476546750

Contact

VEGETALIA SL

(Spain)

Contact person: Ms. PLADEVALL Marta

Website: http://www.vegetalia.com

Phone: +34-938666536

Contact

VITA+ NATURPRODUKTE AG

(Austria)

Contact person: Mr. BAUMGÄRTNER Michael

Website: http://www.verival.at

Phone: +435-33275654

Contact

WIBERG GMBH

(Austria)

Contact person: Mr. POHL Lukas

Phone: +43-6626382433

Contact