What is it about?

Elasticity is one of the critical texture parameters of a food. We report the first systematic investigation of the elasticity of extruded, fibrous matrices based on pea protein isolate. We specifically look at the effect of water and storage time. High water content matrices turn out to be softer and high water content matrices harder. Critically, we find that, during storage in a refrigerator, the fibrous matrices stiffen up by about 45% within a couple of days, impacting the texture of the products.

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Why is it important?

Meat analogues based on proteins that are sourced from plants, including beans and pulses, have great potential to provide sustainable protein to a growing world population. Acceptance of such meat analogues is low, however, as the texture is not as good as "the real thing". It is critical to develop a fundamental physical understanding of the factors impacting meat analogue texture to be able to develop products that satisfy even the most discerning consumer.


This is a first step towards the understanding of the mechanical properties of meat analogues. We however will need a complete framework to understanding elasticity and breakdown of such matrices to relate it to the actual sensory properties.

Job Ubbink
University of Minnesota Twin Cities

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Effect of water content and aging on the elastic properties of extruded pea protein isolate, Physics of Fluids, August 2023, American Institute of Physics,
DOI: 10.1063/5.0161352.
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