Innovating with assemblies of animal- and plant-based proteins

Innovating with assemblies of animal- and plant-based proteins

Innovating with assemblies of animal- and plant-based proteins

The challenge of replacing animal proteins with plant-based proteins in Western diets involves successfully transitioning towards healthier and more sustainable food. For many consumers, this transition will only be acceptable if they have a choice of food products that are appealing, convenient and affordable. One possible solution is to offer innovative mixed products, combining dairy, egg and/or vegetable proteins. To make this happen, the animal and plant sectors need information to drive their development and innovation activities forward.

Recent work of the UR BIA and UMR STLO teams has been published in two syntheses jointly with Wageningen University & Research (WUR) and the CSGA/Université de Bourgogne. These works describe the interaction mechanisms between animal- and plant-based proteins.
Dispersing proteins in the form of coacervates or heat-induced aggregates offers an effective technological solution to the instability that plant-based proteins are commonly known for. A fine mastering of interactions can also help to diversify the texture of gels, foams and food emulsions to enable the use of plant-based proteins in foods that the public is more inclined to accept than purely plant-based foods.
These "mixed" or "hybrid" foods provide essential amino acids and vitamins that are sometimes lacking in vegan diets. Fermentation further enhances these performances, by degrading some indigestible or anti-nutritional compounds arising from the plant fraction, and by producing pleasant aromas as demonstrated with hedonic tests.
This global investigation of innovative mixed foods seeks to provide a multi-criteria assessment of sensory, economic, health and environmental performance, and to open up areas in which the plant and animal sectors can complement rather than replace each other.

Modification date : 11 September 2023 | Publication date : 26 December 2022 | Redactor : MW