Meat alternatives research and development
Meat production is dependent on volatile supply chains and has a devastating environmental impact. At the same time, the global demand for meat is growing. To solve this conundrum, VTT can help you develop plant-based meat alternatives that taste good, minimise environmental impact, and provide great business results.
Key facts about meat alternatives
Our long experience enables turning a variety of raw materials into ingredients that form the expected texture and taste of meat alternatives
World-leading competencies help you perfect the flavour profile, mouthfeel and nutritional value of alternative meats. Scientific approach guarantees the validity and safety of raw materials, processes, and final products
Multidisciplinary teams provide holistic expertise from raw material selection and development based on local plants to taste and sensory perfecting and product prototypes to production piloting
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Why are meat alternatives important?
Global demand for meat is skyrocketing, especially in emerging economies. Unfortunately, meat production is inefficient and resource intensive. The global meat supply is centralised and vulnerable to disruption. To mitigate the climate crisis and accelerating food shortages, food producers invest in developing alternative meat products. These products accelerate the consumption of alternative protein sources. Alternative meats produce less emissions and can use under-utilised crops to provide good nutritional value and more resilient food supply chains.
Alternative meats are already available in many forms and many markets. However, there is plenty of to do to produce alternative meats indistinguishable from traditional meat in every way. We at VTT provide science-backed methods for developing new meat alternatives.
How to develop sustainable meat alternatives?
Developing the perfect meat alternative requires innovating the following:
- Delicious product
- Nutritional value
- Sustainable raw materials
- Efficient production process
- Commercial viability
Our visionary approach and broad expertise help you develop alternative meats with the right taste, appearance, texture, shelf-life and sizzle of meat. Cellular agriculture and bioprocessing ensure that the alternative meat contains essential amino acids and provides good nutritional value.
Finding the right raw materials is key to unlocking a sustainable product. VTT’s experts can help you discover uses for under-utilised plants like fava beans, oat, sorghum and other climate-resistant local crops that can be grown almost anywhere. We can even find valuable uses for industrial side streams, enabling better circularity.
Finally, we can help you optimise the production process and minimise water and energy consumption. At the end of our collaboration, you will have a unique, competitive meat alternative ready for industrial-scale production.
VTT MeatAlternatives unlocks the complexities of meat alternatives
VTT’s MeatAlternatives toolkit is a breakthrough scientific approach to developing meat alternatives. The toolkit improves the performance of raw materials by combining innovative processing with cellular agriculture-based products. For example, yeast organisms can be used to create fats that mirror the savoury flavours found in red meat.
We can also combine biotechnological and thermomechanical approaches to replicate the food matrices of legacy meats. Bioprocessing, for example, can turn plant materials into nutritious and functional food products. We then create prototypes of tasty alternative meats, ready to be scaled up for industrial production.
VTT’s expertise in meat alternatives research and development
From the farm to the table, we can help you perfect the appearance, taste, production and sustainability of meat alternatives.
We have proven expertise on making the most of diverse raw material sources, including plant-based ingredients, cellular agriculture, precision fermentation and insects. We can also take your industrial side stream and see if it could be developed into an ingredient for an alternative meat.
Sometimes existing ingredients are not the best choice for developing an alternative meat. In that case, our scientists can develop new ingredient technologies such as ingredients produced in cell factories.
Our team is experienced in creating proof-of-concepts through prototyping. New technologies, hybrid solutions and AI-assisted data analysis help polish the most-potential concepts for breaking into the alternative meats market.
Finally, our expertise in process optimization perfects the taste, texture, shelf-life and cost-efficiency of your alternative meat.
If you want to innovate a science-backed alternative meat, get in touch and we’ll demonstrate how VTT MeatAlternatives toolbox could help you!
How to work with us in developing meat alternatives
We evaluate the potential of raw materials and processes and identify new business opportunities.
Research and development
We develop proof-of-concepts for new products and processes with systematic research and experimentally proven knowledge.
Pilot and scale-up
We help you commercialise your product with prototyping, sustainability analysis, and technology transfer to industrial scale.
VTT’s leading alternative meat experts
VTT provides excellence and decades long experience in plant-based food solutions and biotechnology. The team consists of 80+ scientists and dedicated experts.
Nesli Sözer has more than 20 years of expertise in food material science and food ingredient and product design. Nesli is passionate about immersing food science and technology in novel concepts. She specializes in sustainable ingredient production technologies focusing on plant proteins, dietary fibres, design of meat and dairy analogues.
Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=OslM_qUAAAAJ
Kaisu leads our Food Design team. The scientific team is specialised in designing meaty sensory experiences without sacrificing nutrition and sustainability.
In addition, she has previous industry R&D experience in turning a challenging raw material to a novel food ingredient and confirming its regulatory compliance for use in food products.
Anni has profound expertise in meat alternative research using a high-moisture extrusion processing with various raw materials from a wide range of plant proteins to fungal biomass and fish as well as their hybrid products. In addition, she has functionalised the raw materials with various bioprocessing techniques including enzymatic modification, fermentation, and chemical processing. Furthermore, she has comprehensive understanding of functional properties, such as solubility, foaming, gelation, etc.