Plant Power – Plant-Based Meat Substitutes In The Flexitarian Age

GRDC - Sara Grafenauer (Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council, School of Medicine, University of Wollongong), Felicity Curtain and Jaimee Hughes (Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council)

Type: Research Paper
Knowledge level: Advanced

Farm Table says:

The authors of this paper note in the conclusion: "Plant-based meat substitutes may help disrupt the negativity around reducing meat, however, it is clear that some attention to nutrient composition and equivalence to meat is required from manufacturers to ensure that those with the greatest health literacy do not reject plant-based meat due to the detailed nutrition information on pack. Ethically, it is in the interest of good public health policy to ensure equivalence. There is also a very clear opportunity for grains, particularly whole grains and legumes to be featured in these products."   Please access the full paper via the link below if this research interests you.

The take home messages from this GRDC funded research are below. Please access the full paper via the link below for methodology, references, acknowledgements and discussion.

Take home messages from the paper include:

  • This study aimed to provide an overview of currently available plant-based meat substitutes available on Australian supermarket shelves, nutrition composition compared to animal products of comparable culinary use (burgers, sausages and mince) and changes in the make-up of the category from 2015 data.
  • Product numbers increased 429% in four years.
  • Plant-based options were generally lower in kilojoules, total and saturated fat, higher in carbohydrate, sugars, and dietary fibre compared with meat. Only 4% of products were low in sodium (58–1200mg/100 g).
  • The plant protein trend has prompted innovation in meat substitutes, however wide nutrient ranges and higher sodium levels highlights the importance of nutrition guidelines in their development.

2020 - Australia - GRDC - Sara Grafenauer (Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council, School of Medicine, University of Wollongong), Felicity Curtain and Jaimee Hughes (Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council)
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