The world’s population continues to grow constantly, and carbon dioxide pollution of the earth grows in correlation with this. This results in high temperatures and drought for around a third of the world’s population. A multitude of measures, including political and legislative specifications for the industry and consumers, aim to ensure that the CO2 footprint is reduced.
One way that we can all reduce our individual carbon dioxide footprint is to stop eating meat, as industrial livestock farming has a significant influence on carbon dioxide pollution. Consequently, many people have started to make changes in their diet and give up eating meat and/or animal products either fully or part-time, and barbecues are no exception here: they’re going vegan too.
VEGAN VARIETY IN THE FRIDGE
Vegan burgers, vegan sausages, vegan spreads - eating vegan food as a meat replacement has become trendy. When they choose meat substitutes, consumers are not only staying in vogue by supporting sustainability, they are also following the megatrend for conscious eating and health. The food group Nestlé has brought the first Garden Gourmet barbecue sausage onto the European market for the 2020 barbecue season. The “Sensational Bratwurst” uses 80% less land, 90% less water and 90% less CO2 over its life cycle in comparison to a pork sausage.
More and more people are choosing meat substitutes. The range of products on offer in the food industry is growing in line with this. Photo: Rügenwalder Mühle
MEAT SUBSTITUTES ARE IN
Established meat processing companies and start-ups have reacted to this trend by introducing numerous vegan products into their ranges over the past few years and have thus made it easier for customers to pass up on meat.
VEGAN PRODUCTS - COMPLEX PROCESSES
Precision and correct handling are required when processing meat substitutes. This is because products such as these often consist of over 30 ingredients that might be dry, semi-solid or liquid substances. Consequently, the requirements vary, for example in the mixing process. Continuous mixing systems such as the AMK continuous mixer fromAmixon can also be used as precision batch mixers. They ensure that only acceptable products are produced throughout the entire dry material and powder processing stages and that no waste is created at the beginning or end of the procedure. To ensure this, the filling level must be maintained at a constant by having the flow rates slowly increase up to a maximum of 80% and then keeping them there. At the end of the mixing process, the dosing units switch off simultaneously and close so that the mixer can empty completely.
Up until now, meat substitute manufacturing has been dominated by the raw material soya. In the coming years, experts predict that we will move over to textured wheat protein (TWP), which is rich in essential amino acids such as glutamine and the growth vitamin riboflavin. Advanced extrusion machines such as those from Coperion, the expert for compounding plants, can be implemented for processing these products, which are similar to meat in terms of their characteristics. Deep-cut screw channels on the dual shaft and high torques that facilitate product infeed are particularly advantageous when manufacturing textured wheat proteins. The system components are self-cleaning to ensure good hygiene during the production process and are designed in such a way that dead space and poor flow areas are eliminated.