Alternative proteins and extrusion

Recent research focus on vegetable alternative to meat products. However it remains a challenge to prepare the highly desirable texture properties of meat from the vegetable proteins. The appropriate consistency, texture, sensory attributes are the main factors to consider during such product innovation.

Mixing, blending though common might not impart such properties and extrusion has been studied in this respective. Extruder provide thermomechanical energy input. Moisture content and energy intensity considerations are involved to improve the fibrous structure of the product. Springiness, hardness and other tensile properties are dependent on the moisture content. Structural changes happen during extrusion, or commonly protein texturization through extrusion is aimed. Inter and intra molecular interactions are the key including entanglement, crosslinking etc.

New peptide bonds, formed by free amino and carboxylic groups of the protein, are suggested responsible for the cross‐linking during protein extrusion. The insoluble aggregate produced inside the extruder, protein‐protein interactions after the superheated molten mass leaves the extruder are all important parameters to be considered during such study.

Even Starch Films have also been developed by the extrusion/thermo-compression technique.

Ref: J Food Eng, vol 264, article 109668 (2020)

Would be great to know / share your experience please.

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