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Chimichurri Combo

Plant-based “meat” alternatives have gone mainstream. Just look in the supermarket or check the menu at your favorite fast-food restaurant.

Research from nutrition company Kerry (November 2021) found that 61% of consumers consider plants a preferred source of protein, over animal-based, according to The Beet, an online source devoted to plant-based information. Kerry surveyed 6,300 people in 12 countries identified as ‘health-and-wellness-conscious’ and those who prioritize products with added protein. Taste was the top consideration for more than 60% of the respondents.

Taste – plus texture and mouthfeel – are important attributes of a desirable meat alternative. But they can be difficult to achieve with plant-based protein sources. That’s where ProTerra® textured wheat- and pea-based proteins can make all the difference.

MGP Research Culinary Chef Yvette Hirang explains why: “Meat substitutes made with wheat and pea proteins have a little bit more of that ‘bite.’ There’s a little more resistance when we bite into them, but not too much.”

Structure-wise, the textured wheat protein – which is available in crumbles, chips and shreds – looks like the fibers in animal proteins. “The wheat shreds are more fibrous, and the wheat chips, when hydrated and shredded, are the closest you can get to shredded beef and pork. Our team spent a lot of time identifying the raw material and processing conditions to make the right fibrous textured proteins.” she says.

In terms of taste, both of MGP’s textured proteins are neutral, without the “beany” aftertaste of soy.

With ProTerra as the starting point, the options for plant-based alternatives are growing well beyond the burger (and the familiar plant-based nuggets and patties.)  Chef Hirang has developed applications as diverse as flatbread toppings, empanadas, Bolognese sauce, wontons, crab cakes, chicken and tuna salads, fajitas, meatballs, even spring rolls.

“Any dish that calls for shredded or ground meat, we can easily substitute our ProTerra. Formed meat such as meatballs, sausage and patties, can be made simply by mixing ProTerra with some binder system.” she says. “Depending on the application, we can take our protein crumbles, add flavor, and put it in a taco, or a soup or use it as the filling for a stuffed vegetable.”

Want to learn more about the endless possibilities with ProTerra? Visit here.

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