With growing consumer demands for sustainable foods and an awareness of the health and environmental effects of meat consumption, there has been a shift in consumer preferences toward alternative protein sources. This presents food industry players with an opportunity to innovate high-quality products that consumers will love.
Alternative protein sources include those derived from plants, animals, and fermentation through precision manufacturing. Their effects on health, the environment, and socio-economics have the potential to have profound effects on consumer preferences and choices as well as having significant repercussions for regulatory policy decisions.
Plant-based alternatives to meat, egg and dairy products are becoming more and more popular around the world. Not only do they contain all essential amino acids but they’re a healthy and nutritious food choice without any of the negative environmental or animal welfare repercussions associated with conventional meat production.
Blue Horizon (BHC) and Boston Consulting Group recently published a report highlighting the nutritional benefits of beans. According to this report, beans can provide fiber, antioxidants, and other essential nutrients that could reduce global population demands for meat while improving environmental sustainability.
Fermented plant-based proteins can be highly nutritious due to the addition of vitamins and minerals. While this process has long been employed, its application in biotechnology and microbial technology has recently seen a surge in popularity.
Other non-meat sources of protein come from bacteria, yeast, algae, and even edible insects. Not only do these provide a great source of lean muscle mass but they are also an incredibly versatile ingredient that can be added to many different dishes.
These ingredients can be used to substitute meat in many recipes, and often come fortified with vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients. This gives them more protein content than traditional meat products while still having similar flavor profiles.
One of the most widely used alternative protein sources is soy, which comes in either concentrate or isolate form with a neutral taste profile. It can easily be added to soups, stews, and other dishes and is suitable for vegetarians and vegans alike.
Another option is edamame, which comes in either a whole bean or powder form. It boasts high levels of protein and some brands are fortified with calcium and vitamin D levels. Edamame makes for an excellent addition to salads, pasta dishes, or other main courses.
There are also plenty of non-meat alternatives you can incorporate into your diet, such as tofu, tempeh and mushrooms. Not only are these high in protein but many come fortified with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients too!
They provide a healthy, nutritious, and tasty alternative to traditional meat products that contain cholesterol and saturated fats. They make an excellent substitute for red meat, chicken, or fish while being low in calories.
Alternative protein products are becoming more and more popular in developed markets, yet more work must be done to bring them to the masses. To successfully bring these products to market, innovation and formulation of these items with similar texture, consistency and flavor as meat, eggs and dairy have yet without off-notes or flavors that might turn away potential consumers.