Plant-Based Meat, It’s Growing Demand, and It’s Nutritional Content

Today, the demand variation for dietary products is increasing. One of the more popular growing demands is the demand for plant-based meat. Plant-based meat is able to recreate various foods, ranging from beef to seafood. But how is plant-based meat compared to real meat in terms of nutrition content? Some new products, such as whole cuts of meat resembling steaks and chicken breast, are becoming more widespread and popular among customers. With this current progression, it is now important to know the nutritional content differences between meats. It is important to know how well our body can digest these products. 

A small-scale study done by a team based in Italy and published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry shows the results of the nutritional comparison of both meats. Tullia Tedeschi and colleagues wanted to discuss this matter further. The team compared three different plant-based steaks with veal steaks and three different plant-based cold cuts with their respective meat counterparts.

From the research, the team found several findings, such as: 

  • The plant-based products contained more carbohydrates, less protein, and reduced amino acid content than their meat-based counterparts.
  • Plant steaks and the veal samples were comparable in terms of essential amino acid content and digestibility.
  • Plant cold cuts generally had less salt than the meats and contained fewer essential amino acids. Different products also showed differing levels of digestibility due to the variety of ingredients they contain.
  • Overall, the nutritional value of the plant-based products depended greatly on the plants used to create them, causing wide variation in their amino acid content and the digestibility of their proteins. In contrast, all the samples within a particular meat type showed comparable nutritional profiles.

The team hopes that this study could help people consider the food that they are consuming. The difference in nutritional content should be informed and communicated from producer to consumer to ensure consumers fulfill their nutritional needs.