The Growth of Plant-Based Proteins and the Critical Role of Technology in Meeting Flexitarian Standards

While plant-based proteins have been a part of human diets for centuries, the emergence of the original textured vegetable protein (TVP) in the 1960s marked a turning point, making plant-based protein a viable substitute for animal-based sources in more mainstream diets.

Initially, commercially available plant-based proteins were easily distinguishable from animal-based sources and primarily attracted interest from vegans, vegetarians, and pescatarians.

Nourishing the Future: Empowering Lives with Plant-Based Protein

Image Credit: LECO Corporation

In the last decade, the landscape of plant-based proteins has undergone significant changes.

Meat substitutes closely mimicking meat's look, smell, texture, and taste have flooded the market.

In an era where consumers are increasingly informed and concerned about sustainability and environmental stewardship, plant-based protein has emerged as a viable alternative for approximately one in four consumers, those who identify as flexitarians.

A Flexitarians' diet aligns with their values without strictly excluding entire food categories. For instance, those focused on sustainability and humane farming practices might replace beef with an Impossible burger once a week to reduce their impact on the industry.

For flexitarians, plant-based proteins undergo scrutiny. Many factors are considered when making a food decision. A flexitarian who continues to consume milk may be less inclined to opt for a more expensive and less palatable plant-based substitute solely for sustainability reasons.

Plant-based proteins must, to a considerable extent, match their animal-based counterparts to gain traction among the flexitarian demographic.

While this is difficult, it is not impossible. Recent years have witnessed numerous advancements in plant-based protein technology, and experts anticipate we are just scratching the surface of plant-based possibilities.

Progress in areas such as improving solubility and taste and finding ways to extract protein from "spent" sources like barley used in brewing showcases the remarkable leaps in plant-based protein capabilities year after year.

Nourishing the Future: Empowering Lives with Plant-Based Protein

Image Credit: LECO Corporation

At the core of these developments, nutritional value remains paramount. The amount of protein derived from plant-based sources is a critical consideration in the creation of new products. Hence, a rapid and reliable protein determinator, such as LECO's FP828, remains of prime importance in the product development process.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by LECO Corporation.

For more information on this source, please visit LECO Corporation.

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