The rise in the number of people switching to a vegan diet has created a demand for vegan meat. It is used as an alternative to beef that is the main ingredient of hamburgers. However, these plant-based alternatives are successful in capturing the texture and flavor of animal-based food products like dairy and meat; because of the fundamental difference in the properties of its constituents. Read on to know more.
Animal food products have a springy texture due to the protein, and this is the reason minced meat used for making burgers binds to itself, while most of the plant-based patties have a crumbly texture. This is because, the muscle cells of animals are elastic to help with their mobility, but pant cells are relatively rigid as they must only provide structural strength. Plant-based food products have a crunchy texture, while the meat is chewy. However, years of research have found that pea and wheat proteins can provide fantastic texture like animal food products. Moreover, nowadays vegan burgers that taste very much like hamburgers are becoming more common.
The Fat Content
The fat content of vegan meat is different from that of beef, and this has a significant impact on its texture and flavor. For example, the saturated fats in meat slowly melt over a wide range of temperatures, and this makes beef juicy. On the contrary, vegetable fats melt at a lower temperature because they are unsaturated. Coconut and palm oils have a higher percentage of saturated fats, and hence they are used as primary fat for providing meaty texture to plant-based meat products.
To get the flavor of vegan meat right, reputed manufacturers use natural flavors that are made using chemicals derived from natural sources. Also, these flavoring agents are fat-soluble to mimic the properties of meat. However, keep in mind that vegetable fat dissipates faster in mouth, and hence the flavor of plant-based meat products like burgers is shortlived. Moreover, this is one of the biggest differences between eating them.
Another major feature that distinguishes beef is its red color and this is due to myoglobin. In vegan meat, usually, beet extracts are used to get this color. Also, some manufacturers use the compound leghemoglobin to get the red color; it is an oxygen transport molecule found in the roots of legumes, and also gives a meaty flavor.
We hope that the details shared above gave you a better understanding of the major differences between beef and vegan meat.