Enhancing the water holding capacity of model meat analogues through marinade composition
Cornet, Steven H.V. ; Snel, Silvia J.E. ; Lesschen, Judith ; Goot, Atze Jan van der; Sman, Ruud G.M. van der - \ 2021
Journal of Food Engineering 290 (2021). - ISSN 0260-8774
Flory–Rehner theory - Juiciness - Marinade - Meat analogue - Plant protein - Swelling
Meat analogues can offer consumers a more sustainable alternative to meat. A successful meat analogue is characterized by a meat-like texture and high juiciness. Juiciness is related to the water holding capacity (WHC). To gain an understanding of how to control the WHC via external conditions, we investigate the effect of ionic strength and pH on water uptake. Model meat analogues were prepared in a Shear Cell and swollen in baths of known pH and ionic strength. The effect of bath composition on water uptake was determined experimentally, and simulated using Flory–Rehner theory. Experiments and simulations were in qualitative agreement. The results show that water uptake increases with an increasing difference between bath pH and the protein's iso-electric point (pI). At low ionic strengths, the internal pH is near the pI, resulting in reduced swelling. At high ionic strengths, the charge imbalance between gel and bath is limited, also resulting in reduced swelling. At intermediate ionic strengths, swelling increases with decreasing bath ionic strength. Cross-link density negatively relates to WHC and can be controlled via the addition of cross-linking and reducing agents. This work shows that by carefully choosing marinade pH and ionic strength, the WHC of meat analogues can be controlled. These advancements can help improve the sensory characteristics and yield of meat analogues and could enable the production of reduced-salt products.
Extraction, gelation and microstructure of Bambara groundnut vicilins
Diedericks, C.F. ; Koning, Linda de; Jideani, Victoria A. ; Venema, P. ; Linden, E. van der - \ 2019
Food Hydrocolloids 97 (2019). - ISSN 0268-005X
Bambara groundnut - Vicilin - Plant protein - Fractal dimension - Scaling
Nowadays there is a growing interest in exploiting new sources of plant proteins as functional ingredients in food products. In recent years, Bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranea (L.) Verdc.) [BGN] has been explored as such a potential plant protein source, as a means of value-addition to this leguminous crop. To elucidate on the macroscopic functionality of BGN protein isolates, the focus of our study was on the extraction and characterisation of the vicilin protein fraction as the known major storage protein present in legume seeds. BGN vicilin had a high protein content (91%) and formed the largest component in relation to the other protein fractions. Together with molecular weight profiles obtained with gel electrophoresis and size-exclusion chromatography coupled with light scattering, the purity of vicilin and its presence as the predominant protein fraction in BGN black-eye seeds were confirmed. The isoelectric point (pH 5.3), solubility profile (highest solubility 86% at NaCl concentrations above 200 mM) and thermal denaturation temperature (92 °C) of BGN vicilin correspond to the range reported for other legume vicilins. Furthermore, the gelation behaviour of BGN vicilin gels was investigated using dynamic oscillatory measurements. These data were further analysed with scaling models, which revealed that fractal scaling was best suited for description of the BGN vicilin gel networks. The gel microstructures were visualised with confocal laser scanning and scanning electron microscopy.
Comparing structuring potential of pea and soy protein with gluten for meat analogue preparation
Schreuders, Floor K.G. ; Dekkers, Birgit L. ; Bodnár, Igor ; Erni, Philipp ; Boom, Remko M. ; Goot, Atze Jan van der - \ 2019
Journal of Food Engineering 261 (2019). - ISSN 0260-8774 - p. 32 - 39.
Fibrous structures - Food processing - Plant protein - Shear cell processing - Shear-induced structuring
Pea protein isolate can be combined with wheat gluten into materials with a fibrous morphology using shear induced structuring combined with heating. Results are partly in-line with soy protein isolate-wheat gluten blends, but the latter yields anisotropic materials in a much broader temperature range. Both blends also have the ability to include air. Air bubbles were aligned and deformed at process conditions that gave the most pronounce fibrous products. Mechanically, the pea protein-gluten materials processed at 140 °C had a similar strength as soy protein blends. At 110 and 120 °C, the pea protein blends had a strength that was comparable to a chicken meat reference (50–100 kPa) but weaker than their counterparts with soy (220–300 kPa). Blends of pea protein-gluten show potential for preparing structured plant protein materials, but the application area might be different compared with potential applications of soy protein-gluten blends.
Structuring processes for meat analogues
Dekkers, Birgit L. ; Boom, Remko M. ; Goot, Atze Jan van der - \ 2018
Trends in Food Science and Technology 81 (2018). - ISSN 0924-2244 - p. 25 - 36.
Anisotropy - Fibrous products - Meat analogues - Plant protein - Structuring
Background: Animal-derived protein foods, such as meat, have a large impact on the environment. Meat analogues are products that replace meat in its functionality, i.e. have similar product properties and sensory attributes, which is achieved by the fibrous nature of those products. Scope and approach: The techniques used to make fibrous products that mimic muscle meats are outlined and categorized based on their approach. The bottom-up approach refers to assembly of structural elements that are combined. The top-down approach refers to structuring of biopolymer blends using an overall force field. The strengths and weaknesses of these approaches are discussed in terms of ingredient and equipment use, (achievable) product resemblance, robustness, scalability, and resource efficiency. To enlarge the theoretical framework, the techniques with the top-down strategy are further contextualized by relating to structure formation processes of materials with other applications, and the methods to analyse the fibrous structures are further outlined. Key findings and conclusions: Techniques that follow the bottom-up strategy have the potential to resemble the structure of meat most closely, by structuring the proteins hierarchically through assembly of individual structural components. The top-down strategy is better scalable, is more efficient in its use of resources, but can only create the desired structure on larger length scales. Significant progress has been made on the methods to analyse structured products from the last category. Most analysis methods focussed on the (micro)structural anisotropy of the fibrous products, however there is also a need for methods that allow in situ analysis of the evolution of the structure during processing.
A combined rheology and time domain NMR approach for determining water distributions in protein blends
Dekkers, Birgit L. ; Kort, Daan W. de; Grabowska, Katarzyna J. ; Tian, Bei ; As, Henk Van; Goot, Atze Jan van der - \ 2016
Food Hydrocolloids 60 (2016). - ISSN 0268-005X - p. 525 - 532.
Concentrated blend - Plant protein - Polymer blending law - Rheology - Time domain NMR
We present a combined time domain NMR and rheology approach to quantify the water distribution in a phase separated protein blend. The approach forms the basis for a new tool to assess the microstructural properties of phase separated biopolymer blends, making it highly relevant for many food and non-food related applications. First, we determine the relaxation rate of absorbed water, and the viscoelastic properties of the separated phases as function of the water content. Next, the same properties are measured for the protein blends. Finally, predictions for water distribution obtained from rheological experiments are made via the polymer blending law, and compared to a more direct assessment of the water distribution with time-domain NMR relaxometry (TD-NMR). In this study, the protein blend consists of soy protein isolate (SPI) and vital wheat gluten (WG). We demonstrate that predictions for water distribution are similar for both TD-NMR and rheological measurements. It turns out that water does not distribute homogenously over the phases. Independent of the SPI and WG ratio, more water is absorbed by the SPI phase relative to the WG phase, which largely determines the resulting rheological properties of the blends.
On the use of the Couette Cell technology for large scale production of textured soy-based meat replacers
Krintiras, Georgios A. ; Gadea Diaz, Javier ; Goot, Atze Jan Van Der; Stankiewicz, Andrzej I. ; Stefanidis, Georgios D. - \ 2016
Journal of Food Engineering 169 (2016). - ISSN 0260-8774 - p. 205 - 213.
Fibrous structure - Gluten - Meat replacer - Plant protein - Shear - Soy
We have demonstrated that application of simple shear flow and heat in a Couette Cell is a scalable process concept that can induce fibrous structural patterns to a granular mixture of plant proteins at mild process conditions. In particular, a Couette Cell device with 7-L capacity was employed for the production of structured soy-based meat replacers. A reduced factorial experimental design was used to find the optimum process conditions between two relevant process parameters (process time and rotation rate), while the process temperature remained constant at 120 °C. Fibre-structured products with high anisotropy indices were produced. Fibrousness is favoured at 30 ± 5 min and 25 ± 5 RPM. The up-scaled Couette Cell can be operated in higher industrial values and yield 30 mm thick meat replacers, which emulate meat. Besides, the study did not reveal any barriers for further upscaling of this concept. The flexibility in design allows production of meat alternative products with sizes that are currently not available, but could have advantages when aiming at replacement of complete muscular parts of animals, for instance, chicken breast or beef meat.