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Research on the application of protein in plant protein meat

plant protein meat

Plant protein meat is based on plant protein and uses certain technical means to prepare bionic meat products with the fiber structure, texture, color, flavor, taste and appearance of animal meat. The composition, ingredient type and moisture content of the plant-based meat matrix will have a significant impact on the texture and taste of the final product.

Plant proteins are mainly composed of globular proteins, and the forces that maintain their high-level spatial structure are mainly weak interactions such as non-covalent bonds or secondary bonds. Almost all plant proteins can be used as raw materials for the preparation of plant-based artificial meat. For example, legume protein, cereal protein and potato protein are the bulk raw materials for the production of plant-based meat.

1. Bean protein

Based on the comprehensive analysis of raw material output, price and functional properties, soy protein isolate (SPI), soy protein concentrate (SPC) and pea protein isolate (PPI) are relatively low-priced and have good emulsification, gelling and water-holding properties. It has fat-binding properties and is therefore commonly used in commercially available plant-based meat products.

Although high protein purity has no positive correlation with the texture and appearance of plant-based meat, SPI is most commonly used in high-humidity extruded plant-based protein meat due to its protein content of over 90%, weak beany smell, and lighter color. Research. SPI can form a fiber structure visible to the naked eye at a moisture content of 50% and an extrusion cooking temperature of 124°C, and X-ray scanning results confirm the formation of an anisotropic structure.

Pea protein is the main component of the by-product produced by processing pea starch into pea vermicelli. Pea protein is a major plant source of branched-chain amino acids (BCAA), containing up to 18.1%. Branched-chain amino acids constitute about one-third of skeletal muscle protein. Supplementing branched-chain amino acids can inhibit the degradation of skeletal muscle proteins, relieve delayed muscle soreness after strenuous exercise, and promote muscle recovery.

Pea protein has low allergenicity, high nutritional value, strong emulsification and foam stability, and has become a mainstream plant-based meat protein raw material. However, the gelling ability of pea protein is weak, and the prepared plant meat tastes soft and has poor elasticity. In order to improve the gel properties of pea protein, different types of salts (NaSCN, NazSO4, CHCOONa, NaCl) are often added to the system to increase the gel strength by promoting the formation of more hydrogen bonds between pea protein molecules.

In addition, legume proteins currently used for high-humidity extrusion also include lupine, broad beans, mung beans, chickpeas, etc. Because mung bean protein has good gelling ability, helps particles bind and enhance water holding capacity, it is often used in combination with soy protein and pea protein to improve the texture of plant meat and enhance chewiness.

2. Cereal protein

Cereals are the most important food crops, commonly used as seeds (rice, barley, oats and corn) and flour (wheat, rye and corn). Wheat protein (WG) is an important economic by-product of wet processing of wheat flour, mainly composed of gliadin and glutenin. Wheat protein has viscoelasticity, bonding ability, dough forming ability and fermentation ability. It is a promising adhesive material and can be used as a thickening agent for meat patties, an adhesive for sausage products, and can also be used to bond large items. Block foods make reconstituted foods.

Rice protein can be divided into 4 categories according to its solubility and biochemical properties: albumin, globulin, glutenin and gliadin. Among them, glutenin also has subunits connected through disulfide bonds, which can be used to improve plant meat. The role of texture.

Grain proteins have high contents of cysteine and methionine, with lysine being the first limiting amino acid. The lysine content in rice is high, much higher than that of wheat protein (2.3g/16g N) and corn protein (2.5g/16g N). The biological potency of rice protein is as high as 77, which is a high-quality plant protein, similar to the values of beef (77) and fish (76).

In order to solve the problem of imbalanced amino acid composition of legume protein, rice protein is often added. In addition to wheat and rice proteins, there are also corn, barley, oat, and sorghum proteins. These proteins can be used for the production of textured proteins. However, considering economic benefits, they are not suitable for mass production.

3. Potatoes and other proteins

Although the protein content in potato tubers is not high (2.3%), potato protein has high nutritional value and is rich in lysine, methionine, threonine and tryptophan. The biological potency is about 80, which is significantly higher than FAO/ WHO standard protein.

Potato glycoprotein is the main component of potato protein and has good solubility, emulsification, foaming and gelling properties. In addition to being commonly used to supplement legume protein to improve texture, potato protein can also be extracted from rapeseed, cottonseed, peanuts, sunflower seeds, sesame, safflower, linseed and other oil crops and used as raw materials for plant protein meat.

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