La revue Viandes et produits carnés

La revue française de la recherche en viandes et produits carnés  ISSN  2555-8560

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 PROCESS ET TECHNOLOGIES

 
 

Meat substitutes: formulations and comparative analysis. Part 2: micronutrient intakes

The nutritional quality of a food is not only assessed by its protein intake and the quality of protein intake, but also by its intake of trace elements. Animal products are the only sources of vitamin B12, apart from pharmaceutical food supplements. The amounts of other B vitamins are much greater in meat products: 4 to 6 times higher for vitamin B1, 2 to 20 times for vitamin B2, 5 to 30 times for vitamin B3, 2 to 12 times for vitamin B5, 2 to 100 times for vitamin B5, as much as 30 times for vitamin B6. Less markedly, the mineral content is also higher for cooked meat or cooked meat products compared to a ready-to-eat vegetable analogue: from 2 to 9 times more zinc in meat products than in analogues and vegetarian dish sources of protein, and up to 3 times more for iron. The quantity is not the only criterion to consider. The bioavailability of Iron and magnesium is lower in plant products. These minerals, however, are well assimilated during the consumption of meat products. The efficiency of iron absorption during the consumption of meat products is partly linked to the form of the ion (ferric or ferrous iron, or heme iron, i.e. associated with hemoglobin or myoglobin) and the absence of complexes such as phenols and phytate present in plants.

Meat substitutes: formulations and comparative analysis. Part 1: protein intake

The nutritional quality of animal products is often overlooked in our consumers' imaginations. Sustainability for example, must take into account sustainability for humans, starting with meeting their nutritional needs as naturally as possible. For starters, the protein intake, in quantity per 100 g of edible food (usually cooked), greatly exceeds those of vegan equivalents, whether they are meat analogues made from vegetable proteins or vegetarian dishes reputed to be sources of protein (chickpeas, hummus, lentils, tofu etc.). In addition, it is clear that animal products are protein sources of high nutritional quality (DIAAS  80) unlike vegetarian equivalents (DIAAS  80). Animal proteins are more easily digestible before the arrival of the food bolus in the large intestine - colon (The DIAAS Digestible Ileon Amino Acid Score is now the only protein quality criterion recognized by the FAO and WHO) and the intake of essential amino acids are more important. The combination of proteins from legumes and cereals, complementary in theory in their contributions of essential amino acids, is not satisfactory, however, for a quality supply for humans (DIAAS <100 very generally).

Consumer perceptions and the future of meat consumption

Based on two surveys evaluating participants' Willingness to Pay (WTP) for animal products and plant-based substitutes, this article studies the French consumers’ perceptions regarding meat consumption. The results from the first study showed that the WTPs for plant-based products are lower than those for animal products, but that information on the impact of products on human health and the environment tends to bring WTPs closer, suggesting possibilities of substitutions between the two types of products. These findings were confirmed by additional research from the other survey. Eventually, the WTPs for meats bearing the Label Rouge signal are higher than those of meats without labels, thus widening the gap with the WTPs for plant-based substitutes. From these WTPs, we show that possible price changes for meats and plant-based alternatives could lead to significant substitutions regarding the purchased quantities of products, even if meat would continue to get significant market shares. More precisely, the consumption of meat would not disappear, but would decrease with significant increase of meat prices. Its market share would depend on the evolution of product prices and the type of information given to consumers. In the event of sharp increases of meat prices, beef producers should turn to quality meats under labels leading to higher WTP. Various considerations regarding uncertainties concerning the future are developed at the end of the article.


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