"Veggie 2.0": Research project on meat substitutes

Master's student in food technology examines the nutritional values of current meat substitutes.

Meat alternatives are in vogue, but the nutritional values are rarely optimal. Sponsored by the Adalbert-Raps-Stiftung, a master's student in food technology at the Beuth University of Applied Sciences in Berlin investigated the nutritional values of current meat substitutes.

Too much salt, too much fat and too many calories

More and more people want to at least reduce their meat consumption. Therefore, food manufacturers are developing meat imitations that are supposed to be as close as possible to the original in texture, taste and appearance. In her master's thesis, Sarah Gleisenberg compared the energy density and nutrient content of twelve meat substitutes - predominantly vegan cutlets and fillets - with six conventional meat products, including, for example, pork cutlets or chicken breast fillets. The results showed that especially the salt content in the vegetarian-vegan products is clearly too high. In addition, the breaded veggie cutlets in particular have increased fat and total energy contents compared to native meat.

Protein and fibre are qualifying nutrients, of which at least 10 per cent of the daily requirement should be present in the product. Disqualifying nutrients include, for example, total fat content, saturated fat, sugars and salt. Their share in a product should cover no more than 20 per cent of the daily requirement. Contrary to the expectations of many consumers, who attribute added health value to vegetarian-vegan products, meat substitutes, according to the study, often have too many disqualifying and too few qualifying nutrients as well as too high caloric values.

As an alternative, Sarah Gleisenberg presents a nutritionally optimised roast based on pea and wheat protein in her research project, which she developed herself. It is vegan and rich in fibre and protein. Compared to the meat substitutes studied, it has a reduced salt, sugar and fat content and thus fewer calories.


Master's thesis: "Veggi 2.0"