Microbial Spoilage of Plant-Based Meat Analogues

Eating habits have a considerable impact on the climate and on utilization of natural resources. Food sector is one of the burdens on environmental impact where most foods came from animals. Since centuries ago, meat is the significant food of mankind and is an important aspect in a well diverse diet. Besides that, meat has an evitable role in protein intake.

However, meat production resulted in high greenhouse emission Cattles are responsible for around 7% of total green house gases in the atmosphere. 1 kg of beef production requires 15.000 litres of water and it produce an immense number of carbon dioxide emission (26,5 kg). Due to those reasons, many researchers suggest that we need to decrease meat consumption to give a positive effect on environment

Besides environmental impact, meat consumption also brings public health issues. Excessively consuming meat may bring serious health effects according to several issue, Plant-based foods can be an alternative of changing our protein intake. However, the main task of plant-based products is to make sure that there is adequate protein content to maintain the meat-like taste, texture, colour appearance, and consumer experience. Besides the sensory feel, the safety of the food regarding on the microbial load also needs to be recognized.

Is it Safe?

Regarding on the raw material itself, research shows that wheat gluten powder showed a microbial load of 3.32 log10CFU/g. By the looks of the numbers, it is considered as a medium-contaminated raw materials. While other materials such as textured pea protein, textured soy protein, and soy protein was below 10 CFU/g. All those materials do not contain any yeast, mold, and Enterobacteriaceae

When the raw materials are transformed into hot meals (spaghetti bolognaise, cabbage casserole, vegan meatball), colony appear after 12 hours on meals that are made with meatless material. Spoilage of meat containing meals started not long after that. For cabbage casserole, the spoilage of the meatless dish started after 36 hours and in meatballs the contamination rate is constant. In all these 3 samples, meatless dish showed higher levels of contamination. These data are taken in unrefrigerated condition.

When thinking about meat alternatives, plant-proteins are the most considered because they are cheap, healthy, and already part of most diet. The main problem is only keeping it safe to eat for the consumer. Post-process contamination and enzymes inside the plant-based material is the main cause of the contamination, so that is why proper processing technique and packaging technology is required.

To start your journey to plant-based food, I recommend products from Meatless Kingdom. It is a ready-to-eat meal with 100% plant-based ingredients. It is delicious and gives authentic Indonesian Taste. Regarding the safety aspect, consumers does not need to worry because it is already certified by the Indonesian authorities (BPOM) and already halal. We also use retort packaging so it could last up to 1 year in room temperature if it still sealed and 1 week in the refrigeration after it is opened. Good processing technology, high quality ingredient and great human resources leads to an awesome product!

Source:Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(18), 8309
Image by: istockphoto.com

2 thoughts on “Microbial Spoilage of Plant-Based Meat Analogues

  1. distances says:

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    • Meatless Admin says:

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