Whether it’s plants, insects or cultured meat, alternatives to meat are becoming more and more important. Alternative proteins are therefore one of the key topics at IFFA, the international meeting place for the meat and protein industry, from 14 to 19 May 2022 in Frankfurt am Main. At least 200 of the approximately 900 exhibitors will present products for this sector.
The plant-based meat substitutes market is witnessing high growth rates. In addition to soy or rice, other raw materials such as lupine, peas, wheat, sunflower, hemp or even seaweed are used in the manufacture of these products. The search for new protein sources is also in full swing. For consumers, the added health value as well as the similarity to meat in terms of mouthfeel, taste and appearance play an important role.
A number of manufacturers who offer the raw material – protein flours or protein textures – for further processing into meat substitutes show up at IFFA. Manufacturers of ingredients and casings for plant-based products include ADM, Biospringer, Euroduna Food Ingredients, Givaudan, Hydrosol/Planteneers, Loryma, Soy Austria and Viscofan. “Delicious taste is the main criteria for consumers when buying herbal products. It is important to take a holistic approach when developing new products; ingredients, technology, market trends and culinary influences are all important factors to consider,” says Lucas Huber, Marketing Manager Plant Attitude Europe, Taste & Wellbeing at Givaudan. “Our expertise in taste, texture, color, protein, and ingredients allows us to co-create exceptional products with our customers and accelerate NPD.”
For Norbert Klein, head of research and development at Loryma, texture is the key word for getting plant-based alternatives to adhere. “For perfect finished products, we offer a wide variety of innovative extrudates, bonding and stabilizing systems as well as panades and coatings. Particular attention is paid to a short ingredient list and appealing nutritional values - functional wheat ingredients can score points here and offer technological advantages at the same time. In order to reduce the time and costs of product innovations, digital configurators, which allow manufacturers to create the desired product in a very short time, play an important role. “Digitalization is also advancing by leaps and bounds in the B2B sector,” says Dr. Dorotea Pein, Head of Product Management at Planteneers. “In this regard, it seemed logical to us to offer a tool that greatly facilitates the development of digital products for our customers.”
Processing technologies – surprisingly similar to meat
Extrusion processes are often used to achieve a meat-like texture. Depending on the process, dry pellets can be produced which are further processed into minced meat-like products or, by wet extrusion, into fibrous protein structures for vegetarian cutlets, for example. The main suppliers of IFFA 2022 are Bühler and Coperion. The importance of extrusion for the production of meat alternatives is summed up by Stefan Gebhardt, General Manager Sales and Strategy, Business Unit Food & Pharma at Coperion: “With extrusion technology, all users, for example start-ups as well as large manufacturers of meat alternatives, have the right core technology to meet growing market demand and to drive product development in this area. The flexibility of the twin screw extruder allows the production of TVP (dry texturing) and HMMA (wet texturing) as well as many other extrudates on a single machine. In addition, our technologies also enable the use of new protein alternatives such as hemp protein and microalgae.
Further processing into patties, chops or sausages is carried out using conventional food processing machines such as cutters, mincers, fillers or forming machines, which are also used in meat processing. Many technology suppliers at IFFA will therefore not only offer their production lines for meat processing but also those for the production of meat alternatives and will be available to visitors to the fair to answer all their questions. about alternative protein processing. These include, for example, Albert Handtmann Maschinenfabrik, Gea Food Solutions, Marel, Marlen International, Maschinenfabrik Seydelmann, Metalquimia, Middleby, Provisur and Vemag Maschinenbau. “With plant-based products, it is above all a question of offering alternatives to consumers. To make the decision as easy as possible, shape and appearance play a crucial role in being able to rank the alternatives. In addition to classic applications such as hamburger patties, minced meat or sausages, we offer space for creative ideas, new shapes and individual solutions,” says Jens Thörnich, Product Manager Plant Based Protein at Vemag Maschinenbau. . “From semi-automatic filling to highly automated processes, we present a wide range for the production of various applications with alternative protein sources.”
Cultured meat is in the starting blocks
Cultured Meat is launching entirely new players. Biotech start-ups around the world are working on the meat of the future from the lab. Everywhere, the principle is the same: stem cells are taken from an animal by biopsy, both muscle and fat, in order to reproduce meat. The cells are then multiplied in large bioreactors and the cell masses can then be formed into patties, for example. Using 3D printers or edible media creates clean, textured meat products. To increase acceptance and reduce the price, companies are looking for plant-based nutrient solutions to replace the animal serum that was previously needed. What remains to be done before cultured meat becomes more widely available is summarized by Stephanie Jaczniakowska-McGirr, Global Head of Food Industry and Retail at ProVeg International: “Although cultured meat presents promising possibilities, we identify three pressing challenges: More publicly – open and funded research is needed to address some technical challenges. Further development of the regulatory framework is needed to create an enabling environment for producers and consumers. Broader information is needed to pave the way for a fair and objective reception of cultured meat in society.
IFFA 2022 will be the hub of discussions on alternative proteins. An attractive support program with many lectures will provide further information. At least 200 of the approximately 900 exhibitors in total at IFFA offer products for the production of meat alternatives. Visitors can search for these companies in the IFFA contactorexhibitor and research of products for the show, via the Special Interest “Plant Proteins & Alternatives”.
With trade fairs on four continents, Messe Frankfurt supports the dynamic growth of the global food industry. Further information on the events of the “Food Technologies” portfolio can be found at:
Technology for Meat and Alternative Proteins
The event will take place from May 14 to 19, 2022.
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