LAS VEGAS—Endoscopy professionals give a lot of dietary advice, and often tell patients that they should eat less meat. However, some patients can't imagine giving up a meaty taste and texture from their diets. They can supplement the reduction or total loss with any of hundreds of types of meat substitutes.
And, food scientists are working to offer even more options. They are trying to replicate the nutrition, as well as the texture, taste and functionalities of meat and eggs, by utilizing plant-based products and in-vitro technologies, according to a presentation at the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) 2012 Annual Meeting & Food Expo in Las Vegas.
The “emerging, next-generation plant-based meat (alternatives) promise to deliver the sensory experience of conventional animal proteins for specific culinary applications," said Nicholas Genovese, PhD, visiting scholar and consultant at the University of Missouri-Columbia. In addition, scientists are growing in-vitro meat cells and muscle that may someday replace chicken, beef and pork.
The average American eats 864 pounds of meat each year, according to VisualEconomics.com, a consumption level that cannot be sustained economically or environmentally, said Genovese.