Many people have now switched to vegan or plant based living due to a number of reasons, the health benefits being the main cause. However, finding a plant based replacement that can satisfy the cravings for the savory textures and flavors of meat is difficult for many. There are many plant-based meat options available in the market that are almost indistinguishable from real meat. However, these need to be cooked right to have the flavor of real meat.
The texture, flavor and appearance need to be right for the vegan meat alternatives and many plant based meat manufacturers are trying hard to capture these. Let us see how they do it.
The animal protein present in ground beef offers the springy texture and let the meat to bind to itself. However, mimicking the texture of meat with plant based items is much difficult due to the basic differences between plants and animals. The animal body is made up of muscles that are springy and elastic, whereas plants lack muscles. This means that meat is chewy and plants are crunchy. Many researchers have spent years to solve this issue and they have isolated plant based proteins like pea or what proteins that can mimic the texture of real meat.
The rules of the Food and Drug Administration do not require the manufacturers to disclose the flavoring agents that are used in food items. The labeling rule only requires the companies to mention whether they use any artificial or natural flavors in the food items. This makes it extremely difficult to decipher the exact flavorings that are used in plant based meat products. Artificial and natural flavoring agents can be chemically identical. However, only those chemicals that are obtained from a completely natural source can be labeled as “natural” and you can use such plant based meat products in your plant-based food preparation.
The vegan meat products available these days also replicate the color and appearance of real meat. The red color of beef is provided by myoglobin and vegan meat manufacturers make use of leghemoglobin and beet extracts to provide red color to their products. Leghemoglobin is a molecule found in the roots of legumes and helps in the transportation of oxygen. Like myoglobin, leghemoglobin has a red color and can easily offer the color to plant based meat products.
We hope that you have got the answer to the question now. To know more on plant based meat and plant based living, visit www.plantx.com.