Plant-based meats are less nutrient-dense than actual meat since they lack the same amount of protein. According to a researcher from The Ohio State University, their research shows that because meat substitutes are more difficult to ingest, human cells absorb fewer proteins from them.
Emphasis shifting from meat products or towards meat analogues
The discovery might result in the creation of healthier goods like chicken “cheats” and imitation fish sticks. According to the corresponding author Professor Osvaldo Campanella, the difficulty of delivering enough meat-based proteins without damaging the ecosystem has grown due to the planet’s constantly expanding population.
The researcher added that the emphasis had changed away from conventional meat products or towards meat analogues (MAs) made of plant proteins as a result of worries regarding food security and increased awareness of the importance of a balanced diet.
These later foods help prevent obesity and heart illnesses since they are high in protein and low in fat and cholesterol. Nevertheless, relative to their animal equivalents, proteins from plants frequently have less favourable digestion. If digestion and absorption are not synchronized, this casts doubt on the nutritional content of proteins in MAs.
Protein-rich plants used as meat alternatives
Protein-rich plants, including soybeans, are frequently used as ingredients in meat substitutes. Uncertainty exists over the amount of protein that enters human cells. Using an extruder, a production device, the researchers produced a model replacement meat consisting of wheat and soy gluten.
Plants are dried into a powder and combined with seasonings to approximate the appearance and texture. The combinations are then treated after being cooked and moistened. Since the components are rich in proteins and low in unhealthy fats, proponents of “beyond” meat frequently believe that these products are better for people’s health than animal meat.
By contrasting their meat with a real piece of chicken, the researchers took their analysis a step further. When the former was cut open, it had lengthy, fibrous chunks that resembled chicken meat. Each was broken down into small pieces by researchers using an enzyme the body employs to digest food.