Producers boost plant-based meat’s nutritional value

Climate change, food insecurity, antimicrobial resistance and pandemic risk all place an increasing burden on European health systems and economies. And as governments turn to progressive solutions that help public and planetary health, plant-based production continues to grow as a crucial tenet of their plans.

Food producers are responding with new product launches and nutrient-rich formulations to support health and environmental actions. A new report​ by the Good Food Institute (GFI) Europe explores the nutritional quality of plant-based meat.

In the report, the non-profit organisation promoting plant- and cell-based alternatives to animal products details how plant-based meat can help tackle some of Europe’s most significant public health problems and how businesses and researchers are working to enhance the benefits of meat-mimicking manufacturing with diversified offerings.

The health benefits of plant-based meat

Evidence suggests plant-based meat is an important source of fibre and protein and contains significantly less saturated fat than animal products, the report details.

Initial studies suggest replacing conventional meat with plant-based alternatives could reduce ​the risk of heart disease​, the leading cause of death in Europe; lower the risk of bowel cancer, the second largest cause of cancer death in Europe; improve​ gut health; and help maintain​ a healthy weight.

“Helping consumers make a transition toward eating less meat is probably the most important challenge facing the global food system, and there is little doubt that plant-based meat products have an important part to play in helping consumers make that shift,” Anthony Warner, Food scientist, chef and author, who reviewed GFI’s report, said.