alternative proteins, ground beef, texture


Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the physical attributes of three different plant-based, ground beef alternatives in comparison to ground beef of three different fat percentages.

Study Description: Ground beef of three different fat percentages, a retail pea protein-based ground beef alternative, and a traditional soy-based ground beef alternative were obtained from retail stores (n = 15 lots/treatment). Samples from 15 lots of a foodservice soy protein-based ground beef alternative were obtained from a foodservice chain. All samples were fabricated into 0.25 lb patties assigned to one of four assays: color analysis, texture profile analysis, shear force, and pressed juice percentage.

Results: When evaluating raw color, traditional ground beef alternative had the highest (P < 0.05) a* value and were redder when compared to all other treatments, with retail ground beef alternative having the lowest (P < 0.05) a* value. Traditional and retail ground beef alternative had the highest (P < 0.05) a* value, while foodservice ground beef alternative, and 30% and 10% fat ground beef had the lowest (P < 0.05) a* value for cooked surface color. For texture attributes, retail and foodservice ground beef alternatives had lower (P < 0.05) values for cohesiveness, gumminess, hardness, and chewiness, as well as higher (P < 0.05) values for springiness, than all other treatments evaluated. For shear force, the three ground beef alternatives were more tender (P < 0.05) than all three ground beef treatments, with foodservice and retail ground beef alternatives being more tender (P < 0.05) than all treatments. The three ground beef treatments had greater (P < 0.05) pressed juice percentage values than all ground beef alternatives, indicating the ground beef was juicier than any of the ground beef alternatives evaluated.

The Bottom Line: While the ground beef alternative products attempt to mimic ground beef, they provide very different color, texture, tenderness, and cooking characteristics than traditional ground beef.


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