Cutting technology for plant-based meat
The number of shelves with plant-based meat in a regular grocery store increases almost every day. More and more companies include vegetarian sausages, burgers, meatballs, etc in their portfolio. At the same time, more and more customers choose plant-based options every day. Forecasts expect strong and steady growth in this category. But how is vegetarian meat made?
Which ingredients are used?
The ingredients of meat substitutes made of plant-based proteins can be divided into four groups – water, protein, oil, and spices/additives for taste, binding, durability, and color. Different companies choose different ingredients for their recipes. It can be mixtures of pea protein isolates, rice protein, mung bean protein, canola oil, coconut oil. Some other ingredients also include potato starch, apple extract, sunflower lecithin, and pomegranate powder with a range of vitamins and minerals.
Challenges of the traditional cutting technology
Production companies have two main challenges: to choose a perfect recipe that will make customers happy and to choose a suitable production technology that will ensure the perfect texture. One of the difficulties is the hydrogenation of the dry raw materials and creating the viscosity of the base material. Processing in a mixer takes a long time and the very viscous and sticky mixture adheres strongly and has to be discharged mostly manually – this takes a lot of time and greatly increases the risk of contamination. Vacuum-cutting technology enables up to 80 percent of time savings when hydrating raw materials in a vacuum and special shear of the knives.