The science behind plant-based burgers – Ariette Matser – FMS21
Are pulses able to replace meat for humans? Animal-derived protein foods have a large impact on the environment – it’s time for a change.
Ariette Matser is the expert leader of Food Processing Technology at Wageningen Food & Biobased Research. Her main research focus is on sustainable food processing, including mild preservation, mild separation, and resource-efficient processing. Her activities include project acquisition and coordination of national and international projects.
Meat-like products – research status
According to Ariette Matser, “in recent years science has focused more on plant-based proteins”. This is because we want to be more sustainable. It is obvious that we need to reduce meat consumption, because animal-derived protein foods, such as meat, have a large impact on the environment. A route to reducing consumption of these products involves the development of plant-based analogs for meat or meat-like products.
The power of pulses
Soybeans, which are rich in protein, can be made into flour, a high-protein concentrate, or an isolate. By combining all three of these ingredients, we would be able to prepare something comparable to meat. Despite the considerable effort involved, this meat alternative has less impact on the environment. We can obtain an excellent, full-featured product, while being more sustainable.
Pulses as meat alternatives
The most sustainable way is to use pulses directly. They have a high protein content and many nutritional values. But there is obviously a large difference in texture and taste compared to meat. Ariette Matser noted that not everyone likes these products.