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Extrusion of biopolymers
Photo: Dick Gillberg

Mechanisms for fibre formation in extruded meat analogues

The food chain contributes 25% of the total greenhouse gas emissions, with meat production alone contributing a staggering 14.5%. The consumption increases and it is alarming also from a health perspective, as excessive meat consumption has been linked to health problems, such as coronary heart disease and and certain cancers. We need alternatives.

Sales of plant-based meat-analogues has skyrocketed the last five years even if the production methods have been known already in the early 90ies. Fibrous analogues are today commercially produced from soy, pea and wheat gluten protein, utilizing an extruder to form a protein melt at high moisture content, high temperature and pressure with subsequent active cooling on exit. It is known how to produce the fibres but now why they are formed. Consequently, it is currently difficult to utilize the full potential of these techniques.

In this multidisciplinary project with food science, materials science and modelling specialists, and advanced experimental techniques we will explain the mechanisms responsible for fibre formation during extrusion. These mechanisms are the foundation for producing plant-based meat-analogues, but are not fully understood, thus making prediction of extrusion outcome impossible.

New melt models combined with in-line flow monitoring in the extruder die enables simulation and experimental validation of a combination of dependent physical and chemical mechanisms.

Summary

Project name

Fibre formation in meat analogues

Status

Active

RISE role in project

Coordinator

Project start

Duration

2023-2026

Total budget

3000000

Partner

Roland Kádár, Chalmers University of Technology

Funders

FORMAS

Project members

Supports the UN sustainability goals

2. Zero hunger
9. Industry, innovation and infrastructure
Mats Stading

Contact person

Mats Stading

Senior forskare

+46 76 127 26 03

Read more about Mats

Contact Mats
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