Plant protein ingredients for future foods
The demand for animal protein is expected to increase drastically in the future because of the global growth of population and income. The increasing need for good quality protein cannot be met only with animal based proteins without drastic adverse impacts for environment and humanity. Finding new sources of food proteins and especially plant proteins is a prerequisite to obtain sustainable and affordable foods for the growing global population. However, there are technological, nutritional and sensory challenges associated with the use of plant proteins. This article reviews the applicability of plant proteins as a food ingredient for the development of future foods and suggests strategies for improving their use in various food applications.
The global population is forecasted to increase to 7.6-10.6 billion people by 2050. This rapid growth in combination with expected increasing welfare will lead to an increased demand for animal protein which is forecasted to increase by 52% between 2007 and 2030. Thus, additional alternative and sustainable plant protein sources with high technological, sensory and nutritional functionality are needed. Plant protein production requires less land and thus less resource intensive than that of animal protein, but plant proteins also pose challenges especially when compared to the properties of the current animal proteins.
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