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Meat Analogs from Different Protein Sources: A Comparison of Their Sustainability and Nutritional Content

1
Center for Nutrition, Healthy Lifestyles, and Disease Prevention, School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA 92350, USA
2
Department of Public Health, Nutrition and Wellness, School of Health Professions, Andrews University, Berrien Springs, MI 49104, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3231; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123231
Received: 23 May 2019 / Revised: 5 June 2019 / Accepted: 7 June 2019 / Published: 12 June 2019
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Abstract

Meat analogs are processed foods designed to mimic meat products. Their popularity is increasing among people seeking foods that are healthy and sustainable. Animal-sourced protein products differ in both their environmental impact and nutritional composition. The protein sources to produce meat analogs come from different plants. There is a lack of published research data assessing differences in these two aspects of meat analogs according to the plant protein source. This study compared the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of different types of meat analogs according to their main source of protein (wheat, soy, wheat and soy, or nuts), and their nutritional composition. We also compared totally plant-based products with those containing egg. We performed life cycle analyses of 56 meat analogs from ingredient production to the final commercial product. The nutrient profile of the meat analogs was analyzed based on ingredients. Descriptive statistics and differences between means were assessed through t-test and ANOVA. No differences in GHG emissions were observed among products with different major sources of protein. However, egg-containing products produced significantly higher amounts of GHG (p < 0.05). The nutritional composition of all meat analogs was found to be quite similar. Altogether, total plant-based meat analogs should be the choice for the sake of the environment. View Full-Text
Keywords: meat substitutes; greenhouse gas emissions; nutritional value; plant protein; wheat protein; soy protein; vegan meat substitutes; greenhouse gas emissions; nutritional value; plant protein; wheat protein; soy protein; vegan
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Fresán, U.; Mejia, M.A.; Craig, W.J.; Jaceldo-Siegl, K.; Sabaté, J. Meat Analogs from Different Protein Sources: A Comparison of Their Sustainability and Nutritional Content. Sustainability 2019, 11, 3231.

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