Plant-based diets have become popular as a means of reducing the environmental footprint of the diet and promoting human health and animal welfare. Although the percentages of vegetarians and vegans are low compared to omnivores, their numbers have increased significantly in the last years. The use of non-animal food products other than meat alternatives is also increasing and this tendency constitutes an opportunity for the food industry. In this review, we present that plant-based meat and milk alternatives are consolidated but that there is a niche for egg, seafood alternatives, and new products which may not resemble any traditional animal food. However, not all animal food substitutes are sustainable and some of them are even ultra-processed. In addition, there are concerns on safety and labeling, and consumers demand clear information and regulation. The challenges in this field are connected with food design and technology, sensory science, nutrition, and dietetics. Moreover, adequate selection and combination of foods is important in order to achieve consumer acceptance while preventing nutritional deficiencies in those who choose this type of diet.
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