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Meat alternatives at Fieldays

Massey PhD student, Jie Hong Chiang wants to see what people think of alternative meats.

A good curry could be made with chicken, beef, tofu or even meat-like alternatives from plant proteins, but Massey’s stand at National Fieldays will give crowds a taste for another option.

Massey’s Main Pavilion stand will be offering two different meat alternatives. One is a solely plant-based jerky strip that is made to resemble some of the properties of meat-like texture, but still taste like the plant it is made of. The other will be a plant-based jerky strip that also incorporates meat protein in order to resemble meat in both taste and texture.

PhD student, Jie Hong Chiang says it isn’t just vegetarians or vegans who look towards meat alternatives.

“By using meat proteins like beef bone extract, which are already produced by New Zealand industries as side-stream product, we are able to add high-value flavours into plant proteins, says Chiang. “A whole range of people find meat alternatives attractive for a whole range of reasons. While sensory properties such as taste and texture are important, the method of production and its impact on the environment is also an influencing factor.

“Therefore, plant protein that incorporates flavours derived from meat proteins may be a hit!”

The reactions of Fieldays crowds will help PhD student, Jie Hong Chiang, who is studying the interactions between meat and plant proteins on the structure, texture and sensory properties of extruded meat alternatives.

The meat alternatives can be made into different shapes such as chunks, sheets, patties, strips, and can also imitate coarse ground meat and other products that are available in various colours and size like hamburger, steak, sausages, meat balls and more.

The work is being completed under the supervision of Mr Allan Hardacre and Dr Michael Parker of Massey’s Institute of Food Science and Technology. It uses two technology platforms; Maillard reaction and high-moisture extrusion processing to derive the physiological functionalities that mimic fat and develop flavour in texturised plant proteins with meat-like properties.

Once the work is completed, Massey will be looking to take the project further and will use insights gained at the Fieldays to inform public perception. 

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