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Siddiqui, S.A.;  Alvi, T.;  Sameen, A.;  Khan, S.;  Blinov, A.V.;  Nagdalian, A.A.;  Mehdizadeh, M.;  Adli, D.N.;  Onwezen, M. Alternative Protein Sources. Encyclopedia. Available online: https://encyclopedia.pub/entry/35612 (accessed on 20 April 2024).
Siddiqui SA,  Alvi T,  Sameen A,  Khan S,  Blinov AV,  Nagdalian AA, et al. Alternative Protein Sources. Encyclopedia. Available at: https://encyclopedia.pub/entry/35612. Accessed April 20, 2024.
Siddiqui, Shahida Anusha, Tayyaba Alvi, Aysha Sameen, Sipper Khan, Andrey Vladimirovich Blinov, Andrey Ashotovich Nagdalian, Mohammad Mehdizadeh, Danung Nur Adli, Marleen Onwezen. "Alternative Protein Sources" Encyclopedia, https://encyclopedia.pub/entry/35612 (accessed April 20, 2024).
Siddiqui, S.A.,  Alvi, T.,  Sameen, A.,  Khan, S.,  Blinov, A.V.,  Nagdalian, A.A.,  Mehdizadeh, M.,  Adli, D.N., & Onwezen, M. (2022, November 22). Alternative Protein Sources. In Encyclopedia. https://encyclopedia.pub/entry/35612
Siddiqui, Shahida Anusha, et al. "Alternative Protein Sources." Encyclopedia. Web. 22 November, 2022.
Alternative Protein Sources
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To minimize environmental impact and to counteract growing protein requirements, food industries and the scientific community are exploring novel and alternative resources for protein. These alternative proteins can be obtained from plants, insects, or microorganism-based sources, such as single-cell proteins, making it possible to develop novel food products high in protein content.

alternative proteins dietary patterns food choice motives meat alternatives

1. Plant-Based Meat Products

Plant-based meat products are based on protein obtained from plants following processing, such as silking, extrusion, and conditioning [1]. In the past, plant-based food materials, such as wheat, pea, rice, and peanut, have been used as meat alternatives in food products [2]. Most plant-based meat alternatives are currently developed from soybean due its higher protein content, nutritional properties, and low price.
The major problem that needs to be solved in developing meat alternatives using plant-based sources is the reconstruction of plant protein’s globular structure into animal muscle protein’s fibrous structure. Meat’s color, taste, and flavor must also be reproduced. Plant-based meat substitutes are generally developed from soy and wheat proteins. Products made from soy proteins with 30% wheat protein substitution have attained the fibrous structure, chewiness, hardness, and texture closest to meat [1]. Pea proteins have also been used to produce plant-based meat alternatives as they have no beany smell, which leads to greater acceptability, and are not comprised of the allergens primarily associated with proteins from soybean [3]. Moreover, plant proteins obtained from legumes, such as lupins, chickpeas, and peanut, and grain proteins, such as proteins from corn, have been proven to be potential sources for plant-based meat alternatives [4].

2. Cultured Meat

One of the most promising meat alternatives is cultured meat, since animal-based proteins can be obtained directly from ex vivo cultivation of stem cells without raising and slaughtering animals [5][6]. Production of cultured meat products provides a more sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional meat production with similar flavor, taste, and nutritional profiles, so it is a potentially revolutionary meat production technology [7][8]. The production process for the development of cultured meat can be divided into three steps: (A) preparation of raw material (e.g., preparation of culture medium and isolation of animal stem cells); (B) formation of tissue cultures, such as the proliferation and growth of stem cells in large bioreactors, for the development of tissues and muscle fibers; (C) processing of end products—developed muscle cells are processed into required meat products.
Many types of stem cells can be used to develop cultured meat, such as endothelial cells, blood cells, and fibroblasts. However, obtaining highly purified muscle stem cells is the major challenge in stem cell acquisition. For this purpose, fluorescence-activated cell sorting technology has been widely used to purify the known population of stem cells [9]. To attain effective sorting of cells, expensive antibodies are required. In short, a culture system of various cell types is needed to selectively promote the growth of required stem cells and inhibit the growth of other cell types based on the metabolic characteristics of stem cells [10]. Using induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-based technology, efficient derivation of animal muscle protein from porcine iPSCs in culture has been achieved by Genovese et al. and proved to be helpful for the development of meat substitutes [11] that have the potential for large-scale production in bioreactors [12]. The development of induced pluripotent stem cells from adult cells can be used to obtain cultured meat.

3. Single-Cell Proteins

Single-cell proteins, also known as microbial proteins, are also considered as meat substitutes. These proteins are primarily used in animal feed due to their high nutritional value [13]. This edible microbial protein industry uses wastewater from forestry, animal husbandry, and agriculture for the development of single-cell proteins; therefore, the production of these proteins is economical and cost-effective as it promotes the minimization of waste. Single proteins are currently consumed as meat alternatives after disruption of cell walls, extraction, and purification of proteins.
Single-cell proteins are comprised of eight essential amino acids that include lysine, which is usually absent in plant proteins [8]. In addition, single-cell proteins have been proved beneficial in terms of having a wide range of producing organisms, reduced growth time, and high production efficiency [14]. Single-cell proteins can be made suitable for human consumption by degrading the cell wall of microorganisms and removing nucleic acid [15]. These animal proteins exhibit various advantages, such as water retention, thermal gelation ability, fiber-forming properties, and ease of digestion [16].
In addition to single-cell proteins, edible fungi are also suitable meat substitutes due to their high nutritional value. They contain high levels of protein and dietary fiber, low levels of fat, and high levels of sulfur-containing amino acids; furthermore, some kinds of edible fungi produce a meaty flavor. These edible proteins can be attained from various species of fungi, such as Pleurotus eryngii, Lentinus edodes, Agaricus bisporus, Pleurotus ostreatus, and Flammulina velutipes. Edible fungal protein is cost-effective and economical compared to plant/animal or bacterial proteins. Some edible fungi are easy to cultivate and harvest. Moreover, these proteins have healthy, beneficial biological activities; additionally, they are widely accepted by consumers in terms of their safety and health benefits [17]. Further studies o disputing the necessity of animal proteins are needed to increase consumer acceptance of these proteins.

4. Insects

Insects are a significant source of protein and are used as animal feed to provide sustainable protein content. Insects are comprised of primary fat content (PUFA), protein, minerals, and vitamins. Moreover, they utilize low levels of land and water resources and produce fewer greenhouse gases [15][18]. Significantly, they feed on organic waste, garbage, and other waste streams. They can significantly reduce environmental pollution and production costs. Nearly 1900 species of insects have been found to be suitable for consumption as human food. Compared to chicken, cattle, and pigs, the feed conversion efficiency of insects is significantly higher, leading to a reduction in food wastage [19]. The insect species traditionally consumed are different for different regions of the world, but beetles are consumed commonly in various parts of the world. Crickets and mealworm larvae are the two most common insects used in food and feed industries [20].
However, various factors limit the use of insects as meat substitutes; most prominently, consumer acceptance and issues regarding food safety. Food safety issues include the aflatoxin content exceeding the limit of 10 microgram/kg in some edible dried insects [21]. Some insect proteins can contain allergens and pathogenic bacterial strains [19][22]. Insects have significant potential to be used as meat substitutes if they can achieve higher customer acceptance by being carefully treated, safely farmed, and carefully processed.
Table 1. Protein content and different functional properties of various alternative proteins.

Protein Type *

Protein Content (%)

Functions

References

Plant-based proteins

Soybean

40

Gelation, fiber formation, emulsification, coil binding

[23]

Pea

20–25

Fiber formation, gelation, emulsification

[24]

Cowpea

40

Gel formation, emulsification, foaming, thickening

[25][26]

Zein (corn)

45–50

Solubility, foaming, moisture adsorption

[27]

Faba bean

29

Improve physical and oxidative stability of oil in water emulsions

[28]

Wheat

14

Elasticity, extensibility, fibrous structure

[29]

Insect-based proteins

Telegryllus emma (cricket)

54–56

Water-holding capacity, oil-holding capacity

[30]

Protaetia brevitarsis (larvae)

43–45

Gelation

[30]

Schistocerca gregaria (locust)

76

Foaming properties

[31]

 

Zophobas morio

(larvae)

24–26

Gel formation, emulsification

[32]

Single-cell proteins

Saccaromyces cerevisiae (sugarbeet bagasse)

45–49

Foaming, emulsion, bulk density

[33]

* At the moment, information about cultured meat’s protein content and functional properties is extremely limited.

References

  1. Chiang, J.H.; Loveday, S.M.; Hardacre, A.K.; Parker, M.E. Effects of Soy Protein to Wheat Gluten Ratio on the Physicochemical Properties of Extruded Meat Analogues. Food Struct. 2019, 19, 100102.
  2. He, J.; Evans, N.M.; Liu, H.; Shao, S. A Review of Research on Plant-based Meat Alternatives: Driving Forces, History, Manufacturing, and Consumer Attitudes. Compr. Rev. Food Sci. Food Saf. 2020, 19, 2639–2656.
  3. Ge, J.; Sun, C.; Corke, H.; Gul, K.; Gan, R.; Fang, Y. The Health Benefits, Functional Properties, Modifications, and Applications of Pea (Pisum Sativum L.) Protein: Current Status, Challenges, and Perspectives. Compr. Rev. Food Sci. Food Saf. 2020, 19, 1835–1876.
  4. Zhang, X.; Cotton, I.; Li, Q.; Rowland, S.M.; Emersic, C.; Lian, C.; Li, W. Experimental Verification of the Potential of Superhydrophobic Surfaces in Reducing Audible Noise on HVAC Overhead Line Conductors. High Volt. 2022, 7, 692–704.
  5. Van der Weele, C.; Driessen, C. How Normal Meat Becomes Stranger as Cultured Meat Becomes More Normal; Ambivalence and Ambiguity Below the Surface of Behavior. Front. Sustain. Food Syst. 2019, 3.
  6. Siddiqui, S.A.; Khan, S.; Ullah Farooqi, M.Q.; Singh, P.; Fernando, I.; Nagdalian, A. Consumer Behavior towards Cultured Meat: A Review since 2014. Appetite 2022, 179, 106314.
  7. Choudhury, D.; Tseng, T.W.; Swartz, E. The Business of Cultured Meat. Trends Biotechnol. 2020, 38, 573–577.
  8. Ahmad, M.; Qureshi, S.; Akbar, M.H.; Siddiqui, S.A.; Gani, A.; Mushtaq, M.; Hassan, I.; Dhull, S.B. Plant-Based Meat Alternatives: Compositional Analysis, Current Development and Challenges. Appl. Food Res. 2022, 2, 100154.
  9. Cai, Y.; Wang, J.; Zou, K. The Progresses of Spermatogonial Stem Cells Sorting Using Fluorescence-Activated Cell Sorting. Stem Cell Rev. Rep. 2020, 16, 94–102.
  10. Zhang, C.; Guan, X.; Yu, S.; Zhou, J.; Chen, J. Production of Meat Alternatives Using Live Cells, Cultures and Plant Proteins. Curr. Opin. Food Sci. 2022, 43, 43–52.
  11. Genovese, N.J.; Domeier, T.L.; Telugu, B.P.V.L.; Roberts, R.M. Enhanced Development of Skeletal Myotubes from Porcine Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells. Sci. Rep. 2017, 7, 41833.
  12. Shafa, M.; Day, B.; Yamashita, A.; Meng, G.; Liu, S.; Krawetz, R.; Rancourt, D.E. Derivation of IPSCs in Stirred Suspension Bioreactors. Nat. Methods 2012, 9, 465–466.
  13. Jones, S.W.; Karpol, A.; Friedman, S.; Maru, B.T.; Tracy, B.P. Recent Advances in Single Cell Protein Use as a Feed Ingredient in Aquaculture. Curr. Opin. Biotechnol. 2020, 61, 189–197.
  14. Nasseri, A.T.; Rasoul-Ami, S.; Morowvat, M.H.; Ghasemi, Y. Single Cell Protein: Production and Process. Am. J. Food Technol. 2011, 6, 103–116.
  15. Siddiqui, S.A.; Bahmid, N.A.; Mahmud, C.M.M.; Boukid, F.; Lamri, M.; Gagaoua, M. Consumer Acceptability of Plant-, Seaweed-, and Insect-Based Foods as Alternatives to Meat: A Critical Compilation of a Decade of Research. Crit. Rev. Food Sci. Nutr. 2022, 0, 1–22.
  16. Lv, C.; Xu, C.; Gan, J.; Jiang, Z.; Wang, Y.; Cao, X. Roles of Proteins/Enzymes from Animal Sources in Food Quality and Function. Foods 2021, 10, 1988.
  17. Sun, Y.; Zhang, M.; Fang, Z. Efficient Physical Extraction of Active Constituents from Edible Fungi and Their Potential Bioactivities: A Review. Trends Food Sci. Technol. 2020, 105, 468–482.
  18. Jantzen da Silva Lucas, A.; Menegon de Oliveira, L.; da Rocha, M.; Prentice, C. Edible Insects: An Alternative of Nutritional, Functional and Bioactive Compounds. Food Chem. 2020, 311, 126022.
  19. Imathiu, S. Benefits and Food Safety Concerns Associated with Consumption of Edible Insects. NFS J. 2020, 18, 1–11.
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  21. Kachapulula, P.W.; Akello, J.; Bandyopadhyay, R.; Cotty, P.J. Aflatoxin Contamination of Dried Insects and Fish in Zambia. J. Food Prot. 2018, 81, 1508–1518.
  22. Ssepuuya, G.; Wynants, E.; Verreth, C.; Crauwels, S.; Lievens, B.; Claes, J.; Nakimbugwe, D.; Van Campenhout, L. Microbial Characterisation of the Edible Grasshopper Ruspolia Differens in Raw Condition after Wild-Harvesting in Uganda. Food Microbiol. 2019, 77, 106–117.
  23. Preece, K.E.; Hooshyar, N.; Zuidam, N.J. Whole Soybean Protein Extraction Processes: A Review. Innov. Food Sci. Emerg. Technol. 2017, 43, 163–172.
  24. Lu, Z.X.; He, J.F.; Zhang, Y.C.; Bing, D.J. Composition, Physicochemical Properties of Pea Protein and Its Application in Functional Foods. Crit. Rev. Food Sci. Nutr. 2020, 60, 2593–2605.
  25. Carneiro da Silva, A.; de Freitas Barbosa, M.; Bento da Silva, P.; Peres de Oliveira, J.; Loureiro da Silva, T.; Lopes Teixeira Junior, D.; de Moura Rocha, M. Health Benefits and Industrial Applications of Functional Cowpea Seed Proteins. In Grain and Seed Proteins Functionality; IntechOpen: London, UK, 2021.
  26. Dakora, F.D.; Belane, A.K. Evaluation of Protein and Micronutrient Levels in Edible Cowpea (Vigna Unguiculata L. Walp.) Leaves and Seeds. Front. Sustain. Food Syst. 2019, 3.
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  29. Okpala, L.C.; Egwu, P.N. Utilisation of Broken Rice and Cocoyam Flour Blends in the Production of Biscuits. Niger. Food J. 2015, 33, 8–11.
  30. Ghosh, S.; Lee, S.-M.; Jung, C.; Meyer-Rochow, V.B. Nutritional Composition of Five Commercial Edible Insects in South Korea. J. Asia. Pac. Entomol. 2017, 20, 686–694.
  31. Zielińska, E.; Karaś, M.; Baraniak, B. Comparison of Functional Properties of Edible Insects and Protein Preparations Thereof. LWT 2018, 91, 168–174.
  32. Nagdalian, A.A.; Rzhepakovsky, I.V.; Siddiqui, S.A.; Piskov, S.I.; Oboturova, N.P.; Timchenko, L.D.; Lodygin, A.D.; Blinov, A.V.; Ibrahim, S.A. Analysis of the Content of Mechanically Separated Poultry Meat in Sausage Using Computing Microtomography. J. Food Compos. Anal. 2021, 100, 103918.
  33. Razzaq, Z.U.; Khan, M.K.I.; Maan, A.A.; ur Rahman, S. Characterization of Single Cell Protein from Saccharomyces Cerevisiae for Nutritional, Functional and Antioxidant Properties. J. Food Meas. Charact. 2020, 14, 2520–2528.
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