According to a new study, plant-based replacements provide less protein to the human body than chicken.
The findings were reported in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Osvaldo Campanella, Da Chen, and colleagues sought to investigate if human cells could absorb the same quantity of peptides from a model meat replacement as they could from a piece of chicken. Using the extrusion procedure, the researchers constructed a model meat replacement consisting of soy and wheat gluten. When the substance was sliced apart, it revealed lengthy fibrous portions inside, similar to chicken.
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Cooked replacement and chicken flesh were crushed up and broken down with an enzyme used by humans to digest meals. In vitro experiments revealed that meat replacement peptides were less water-soluble than chicken peptides and were not as well absorbed by human cells. The next step, according to the researchers, is to uncover other elements that might assist improve the peptide absorption of plant-based meat replacements.