We discuss and comment on the role agriculture will play in the containment of the CO2 problem and address protocols for terraforming the planet Earth.
A model farm template is imagined as the central methodology. A broad range of timely science news and other topics of interest are commented on.
Thursday, March 8, 2012
If this holds up and products are
forthcoming, it is excellent news.It is
the one thing that is not available in the vegetarian tool kit and that is bite
ready textured food that competes well with meat products.Even meat products represent far more
culturing than is obvious to the consumer.
I expect the meat component of
the future human diet to continue to decline for mostly fat avoidance reasons.It will turn out that a proper diet is best
designed around a vegetable base, plenty of which is raw with scant meat and
fish depending on age.
Yet both meat and fish will also
be integral with agriculture but that also mostly means the elimination of
ecologically disturbing factory farming.An optimistic scenario perhaps, but the general adoption of the vegetarian
lifestyle was also completely rejected by most not too long ago.Today it is steadily increasing and gaining
popular support along with the rise of organic farming.Once folks began to think about what they are
eating, all these options open up.
A Vegetarian Cutlet
by Staff Writers
(SPX) Mar 07, 2012
The ingredients in this cutlet are 100% vegetable. Image courtesy Fraunhofer
It looks like a cutlet, it's juicy and fibrous like a cutlet, and it
even chews with the consistency of a real cutlet - but the ingredients are 100
Researchers are using a new method to prepare a meat substitute that not only
tastes good, but is also environmentally sustainable.
Meat production is complicated, costly and not eco-friendly: fatted
animals have to consume five to eight kilos of grain just to generate one
kilogram of meat.
It would be simpler and more sustainable if one were to make cutlets
out of seed - without the detour through the animal's body. Impossible? Not
entirely: there are plants that are suitable for the production of meat
substitute products. Researchers in the EU-project "LikeMeat"
have studied what they are, and how they can be incorporated into a product
that tastes and looks like meat.
"Studies have shown that many Europeans are ready to give up meat,
but there have only been a handful of alternatives until now," explains
Florian Wild. The researcher at the Fraunhofer Institute for Process
Engineering and Packaging IVV in Freising is spearheading the project.
"Our goal is to develop a vegetable surrogate for meat that is
both juicy and fibrous, but that also has a pleasant flavor. The product should
have a long shelf life, it should not be more expensive than meat, and be
suitable for vegetarians and
In addition to the scientists at IVV, experts from the University of
Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU) are also participating in
the development, as are consumer researchers from the University of Wageningen,
in the Netherlands, and eleven small to medium-sized corporations that
manufacture or do business in food or food ingredients.
The team roster also includes two Austrian and one Dutch company that
have hitherto only processed meat, as well as an organic food producer from Spain.
"As a group, we are seeking to engineer a simple production chain in which
pure vegetable raw materials are used to produce a meatsubstitute that
corresponds to consumer preferences," as Wild summarizes it.
The ingredients originate from the land: Wheat and peas, lupins and
soya are all suited for production, explains Wild: "We are intentionally
not tying ourselves down to one type of plant because many people get an
allergic reaction to the one or other substance. In the process, we have
developed a variety of recipes.
They are the basis for a product spectrum that offers a broad selection to
people who suffer food intolerance or allergies."
But how do you turn a field crop into meat? "The processing
technology was the biggest challenge," recalls the project manager. The
previously conventional methods of mixing plant proteins with a little water,
and heating them under high pressure, proved to be useless: With this hot
extrusion process, the mass is heated up under high pressure. At the moment
when it pushes through the die, the temperature drops dramatically, steam is
released and the mass foams up.
That is certainly the desired effect when making peanut flips. But not
in the production of meat substitutes. Wild and his colleagues use a new
process specially developed for meat substitutes: The main ingredients - water
and plant proteins - are brought to a boil and slowly cooled down.
Since no sudden release of pressure takes place, no steam blows out of
the paste. As the temperature sinks, the protein molecules start to form
chains. This gives rise to a fibrous structure that is quite similar to that of
The prototype of the new vegetarian cutlet factory is currently located
in the IVV laboratory. The system is no larger than two table tennis tables. On
request, it can produce one endless piece of meat approximately 1-cm thick that
can be shaped as desired, for example into little morsels for diced or
thinly-sliced meats, or entire cutlets.
The research team is currently able to produce 60 to 70 kilos of the
meat substitute per hour - or 300 to 500 kilos per day. "Consistency and
texture are already superb," Wild assures.
There is still a little work to
do on the flavor. By the end of the project term, in one year, the meat
substitute from the land should be every bit as good as a genuine cutlet, and
it should come directly from the machine, ready-to-eat. The experts will
present their new product at the Anuga FoodTec trade fair from March 27 through
March 30 in Cologne.