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Conference: Science and Technology for Meat Analogues

Keynote speech by Roline Broekema

Wageningen Food & Biobased Research are hosting the conference ‘Science and Technology for Meat Analogues’ on 1 and 2 November 2018. During the conference the latest research findings and insights related to technology for the production of fibrous, plant-based materials on the nano to meso scale will be presented.

Roline Broekema will be one of the keynote speakers. She will talk about the balance between sustainability and nutrient content for two types of meat analogues. These insights are key to developing future-proof meat analogues that are both healthy and sustainable.

Meat analogues: nutrients and environmental impact

Most meat analogues have a reduced impact on the environment compared with their meat counterparts, based either on mass or on protein content. These comparisons, however, provide quite a narrow viewpoint, as meat analogues can have other nutritional benefits (e.g. fibre) or drawbacks (e.g. salt) compared with meat. To make a valuable comparison, the full nutritional spectrum and sustainability should be investigated. The optimisation software Optimeal is a good tool for doing this. Simultaneous investigation of both the environmental impact and the nutritional profile of meat analogues can be of help when developing future-proof meat analogues with a favourable sustainability and health profile.

Future-proof meat analogues

Future-proof food products should have the right balance between nutrient content and environmental impact. The Sustainability Nutrition Balance (SNB) indicates the balance between these two parameters. In short, a product that provides nutrients that improve the quality of the current diet and with a low environmental impact will have a better SNB score than a product that contains nutrients that are not beneficial (e.g. salt, saturated fat) and/or with a high environmental impact.

SNB score and meat analogues

Roline studied the SNB score of two different types of meat analogues: a soy-based texturised meat analogue and a meat analogue based on beans and vegetables. These two meat analogues were placed in the context of a weekly diet. Stepwise optimisation was used to calculate the SNB score and the results compared with the SNB score of poultry, pork and beef.

The study showed that the SNB score for these meat analogues is lower than for meat, which means that the balance between sustainability and nutrition is better. However, the SNB score for meat analogues is dependent on the recipe and the inclusion of additives like vitamin B12.


More information




IIf you have questions about this study or conference.
Or want to know more about Optimeal or the Sustainability Nutrition Balance (SNB)?
please contact Roline Broekema or call +31 (0)182 579970.