Washington [US]: A new study has found that proteins in a model plant-based substitute were not as accessible to cells as those from chicken.
The study was published in the journal, ‘Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry’. Osvaldo Campanella, Da Chen and colleagues wanted to go a step further and see if human cells can absorb similar amounts of peptides from a model meat alternative as they can from a piece of chicken.
The researchers have created a model meat alternative made of soy and wheat gluten with the extrusion process. When cut open, the material had long fibrous pieces inside, just like chicken. Cooked pieces of the substitute and chicken meat were then ground up and broken down with an enzyme that humans use to digest food.
In vitro tests showed that meat-substitute peptides were less water-soluble than those from chicken, and they also were not absorbed as well by human cells. With this new understanding, the researchers say the next step is to identify other ingredients that could help boost the peptide uptake of plant-based meat substitutes.