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Food Technologist

[Protein Texturisation Specialist]

Food Technologist

Protein Texturisation Specialist

Protein Texturisation Specialists develop texturised plant-based meat (PBM) formulations by determining the optimal raw ingredient(s), developing base formulations, as well as optimising extrusion parameters to deliver a target texture. They develop formulations of proteins, starches, and fats, and use chemically induced and physical-process texturisation methods to target material transformations and retain properties in the final PBM product.

Protein Texturisation Specialists must have a strong knowledge of plant-protein structure-function properties and protein texturisation technologies. Their focus is to achieve the desired protein gelling and fibre formation through extrusion/texturisation. Protein Texturisation Specialists must also understand how varying extrusion parameters such as nozzle size, processing time, temperature, and pressure result in different protein structural transformations and textures. They further benefit from understanding novel texturisation technologies (extrusion, high- and low- moisture extrusion, 3D printing, shear cell, spinning) to ensure protein fibre formation and biopolymer gelling.

Protein Texturisation Specialists often have a deeper knowledge of biopolymers, which can be optimised to target material properties and achieve appropriate ratios in the final formulation. They consider the whole formulation and prep the right ingredients for the target texture and function using modification techniques such as lipid structuring, hydrocolloid gelling, and enzymatic crosslinking. They would generally also have a background in food science, biology/biochemistry, or material science, bolstered by an understanding of plant-based proteins and animal-muscle fiber structural components.

They may work with a benchtop or pilot-scale extruder at a food science laboratory or pilot plant. Protein Texturisation Specialists may also participate in cooking sessions for product development and should have the sensory skills to evaluate the final product’s texture, fibrosity, and chew. They would then use tools like the texture analyser to quantify mouth-feel properties such as hardness, springiness, and chewiness.

Protein Texturisation Specialists work closely with suppliers to source optimal raw ingredients. Additionally, they work closely with application scientists, who further post-process and optimise the formulations into a final product that meets all the target-product organoleptic properties consumers desire.

Job Description

Hand in a glove, functioning in the job role of a Food Technologist, sprinkling lavender petals onto a soap bar in a laboratory setting.

Thriving in this role demands a specific blend of theoretical knowledge, practical, and analytical skills. Explore the essential skills for success as a Food Technologist by clicking below.

Plant protein chemistry, structure, and function

Knowledge of protein and food texturising technologies (fibre and gel formation)

PBM formulation and manufacturing processes

Biopolymer chemistry (lipids, starch, oils, hydrocolloids, binders, and flavourings)

Theoretical Knowledge Points:
Two scientists examining plant samples in a laboratory setting.

Plant protein and biopolymer material property profiles: Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, differential scanning calorimetry, rheology, scanning electron microscopy

Food texture profiles: texture profile analysis

Sensory analysis (texture focus)

Analyse biopolymer characterisation data from ingredient supplier: Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry, Gas Chromatography–Mass Spectrometry, Gel Electrophoresis

Analytical Skill Points:
Two scientists examining plant samples in a laboratory setting.

Texturise plant proteins using extruders, 3D printers, shear cell, spinning, and other novel technologies for PBM

Biopolymer modification for texture and functionality: lipid structuring, hydrocolloid gelling, and enzymatic crosslinking

Develop and screen PBM formulations for texture

Practical Skill Points:

Two scientists examining plant samples in a laboratory setting.

Skills and

Competencies

Who is the job for?

Unlock your potential! Depending on your educational background or work experience, you might already have a strong foundation tailored for this role. Dive in to discover if you hold the key degrees or work experiences that make you a great fit.

Fresh Graduate

from the following diplomas:

  1. Biology and/or Biochemistry
  2. Material Science and/or Polymer Science
  3. Food Science and/or Food Technology

Working Professionals

from the following industries:

  1. Food and Beverages
  2. Biomaterials

Programmes

Training

Don’t worry if you do not have all the skills for this function. In Singapore, there are many courses in place to help you upskill for a role like this.

University Courses

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Career Progression

Timeline

Discover the general timelines for career growth in this role. Here, you can also explore the degrees needed to enter different positions along the career pathway.

Diploma Degree

Associate Level

Scientist Level

Diploma Degree Entry
Research Technician
Diploma Degree Entry
2 years
Research Associate I
2 years
4 years
Research Associate II
4 years
6 years
Research Associate III
6 years

Associate Level

Scientist Level

Management Level

Bachelor Degree Entry
Research Associate I
Bachelor Degree Entry
2 years
Research Associate II
2 years
4 years
Research Associate III
4 years
6 years
Research Technologist I
6 years
8 years
Research Technologist II
8 years
10 years
Research Technologist III
10 years
12 years
Team Lead/Senior Scientist
12 years

Associate Level

Scientist Level

Management Level

Masters Degree Entry
Research Associate II
Masters Degree Entry
2 years
Research Associate III
2 years
4 years
Research Technologist I
4 years
6 years
Research Technologist II
6 years
8 years
Research Technologist III
8 years
10 years
Team Lead/Senior Scientist
10 years

Scientist Level

Management Level

PhD/PostDoc Degree Entry
Research Technologist I
PhD/PostDoc Degree Entry
2 years
Research Technologist II
2 years
4 years
Research Technologist III
4 years
5 years
Team Lead/Senior Scientist
5 years
>6 years
Department Manager
>6 years
>6 years
Chief of Technology
>6 years

Protein Texturisation Specialists play a crucial role in developing top-notch and commercially viable plant-based meats. Click here to return to the technology value chain and explore other essential job archetypes required to create these groundbreaking products.

Start Your Career

in the Alternative Protein Industry

Use this database to find up-to-date listings of available positions in the alternative protein ecosystem, including at GFI’s international affiliates. We also recommend exploring the Tälist and Alt Protein Careers job boards, which highlight a vast array of high-impact opportunities in the field.

Within these phases, the map guides you through the five crucial stages of plant-based meat (PBM) development:

Within each stage, discover the specific steps and requirements essential for advancing the product along the value chain.

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Click on each step bubble to delve deeper into the role and explore associated job archetypes.

Your journey into the PBM development process awaits!

Operator

Manufacturing Specialist​

Manufacturing Specialists focused on plant-based meat utilise their expertise operating plant-based manufacturing machines (extruders, mixers, coating, and packaging) to support Protein Texturisation Specialists and End-Product Specialists during their product development process. Manufacturing Specialists also assist in the scale-up of the plant-based manufacturing process and set up of the manufacturing operations of the final product.

They must have a strong knowledge of machine operations, calibration and repairs, and be trained on devices involved in PBM manufacturing and packaging such as twin-screw and single-screw extruders, ingredients mixers, and a food-forming machines. They work closely with the product development team to produce prototypes utilising their knowledge in controlling the extrusion machines. This includes but is not limited to optimising temperature, water-fed rate, and screw speed on the extruder to achieve the target end product.

To run an effective manufacturing (processing line), Manufacturing Specialists need to be detail-oriented, organised, and equipped with the skills to manage the inventory and logistics of production. They shold also be up-to-date on food safety standards and ensure the appropriate Good Manufacturing Practices and food-safe regulations are held during the pilot and production processes, respectively.

They work in pilot and scale-up facilities, and production plants. Manufacturing Specialists also participate in operations and engineering optimisation of these facilities. Some of the PBM manufacturing machinery that the operator will manage include extruders, mixers, scaled cooking, and packaging.

Additionally, Manufacturing Specialists work closely with Protein Texturisation Specialists and End-Product Specialists to operate and optimise machine settings to achieve product needs, and with process engineers and manufacturing technicians to set up the scaled-production process.

Food Technologist

Protein Texturising Specialist​

Protein Texturisation Specialists develop texturised plant-based meat (PBM) formulations by determining the optimal raw ingredient(s), developing base formulations, as well as optimising extrusion parameters to deliver a target texture. They develop formulations of proteins, starches, and fats, use chemically induced and physical-process texturisation methods to target material transformations, and retain properties in the final PBM product.

Protein Texturisation Specialists must have a strong knowledge of plant-protein structure-function properties and protein texturisation technologies. Their focus is to achieve the desired protein gelling and fibre formation through extrusion/texturisation. Protein Texturisation Specialists must also understand how varying extrusion parameters such as nozzle size, processing time, temperature, and pressure result in different protein structural transformations and textures. They further benefit from understanding novel texturisation technologies (extrusion, high- and low- moisture extrusion, 3D printing, shear cell, spinning) to ensure protein fibre formation and biopolymer gelling.

Protein Texturisation Specialists often have a deeper knowledge of biopolymers, which can be optimised to target material properties and achieve appropriate ratios in the final formulation. They consider the whole formulation and prep the right ingredients for the target texture and function using modification techniques such as lipid structuring, hydrocolloid gelling, and enzymatic crosslinking. They would generally also have a background in food science, biology/biochemistry, or material science, bolstered by an understanding of plant-based proteins and animal-muscle fiber structural components.

They may work with a benchtop or pilot-scale extruder at a food science laboratory or pilot plant. Protein Texturisation Specialists may also participate in cooking sessions for product development and should have the sensory skills to evaluate the final product’s texture, fibrosity, and chew. They would then use tools like the texture analyser to quantify mouth-feel properties such as hardness, springiness, and chewiness.

Protein Texturisation Specialists work closely with suppliers to source optimal raw ingredients. Additionally, they work closely with application scientists, who further post-process and optimise the formulations into a final product that meets all the target-product organoleptic properties consumers desire.

Application Scientist

End-product Specialist​

End-Product Specialists develop the finished PBM product through further optimisation of the texturised formulation for flavour, nutrition, colour, cooking experience, and appearance. They also conduct post-processing, coating, and cooking of the texturised PBM formulation to achieve final product form, added texture, and desired features such as extended shelf life. Additionally, they conduct consumer testing to narrow down the development needs of the target PBM product, and ensure correct methods are used to create data for the required labelling and food quality standards.

End-Product Specialists require a strong knowledge of food science and product development to work with the internal team and ingredient suppliers to develop a finalised product with desired organoleptic properties: colour, taste, aroma, and texture. This would involve adding the needed flavour profile, pigments, and aromatics to develop the target product. They will use post-processing techniques such as coating, cutting, tearing, and cooking to develop the final product form with added nuances in first-bite hardness, water retention, and overall chewing experience, as well as incorporated preservatives and safety measures. They have a strong knowledge of product development, product testing, and consumer data analysis, which enables them to narrow down the specific changes needed.

End-Product Specialists benefit from knowing how to build out nutrition labelling and cooking instructions for PBM products. They would generally have a background in food science and product development, with an added understanding of PBM formulations and animal-muscle fiber structural components.

They may work in a food science laboratory or participate in cooking sessions for new product development. End-Product Specialists should have strong sensory skills to evaluate the flavour, scent, texture, appearance, and cooking experience of the final product and be able to use tools like a texture analyser to quantify mouth-feel properties such as hardness, springiness, and chewiness.

End-Product Specialists work with Protein Texturisation Specialists to communicate changes that need to be made to the texturised PBM formulation. They also work with the manufacturing/scaling team to transfer the formulation and production process for scaling, and collaborate within the product development team to incorporate the required information in the final packaged product.

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Scale-Up Processes

Scaling up production involves transitioning from small-scale prototypes to commercial quantities. This requires adjustments in ingredient proportions, processing times, and other parameters to maintain product integrity. Pilot plants are employed to optimise the scalability of the production process before investing in full-scale production plants.

Implementing Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) is required to ensure the safety, quality, and hygiene of the manufacturing process. GMP involves environment control, equipment calibrations, and strict operation protocols to prevent contamination.

Scaling up the extrusion process presents many challenges for preserving consistency and quality at a larger scale. Achieving precise control over variables like temperature, pressure, and feed rate, while ensuring uniformity in texture, flavour, and nutritional content across batches, becomes complex with high production volumes. Successful scaling requires adjustments in extruder engineering, formulation, and processing parameters to handle greater throughput. These include addressing challenges related to heat distribution, residence time, and pressure differentials. Cost-effectiveness in the scale-up process is also a concern.

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Production and Distribution

In the day-to-day operations of a PBM company, production involves a systematic process from ingredient preparation to texturisation, followed by post-processing steps and packaging. This requires coordination among various teams, including equipment operators, quality control, and production managers, to ensure smooth workflow and consistent product quality.

Quality management teams will conduct regular checks and inspections to ensure products meet safety and quality standards. Inventory management ensures there is a steady supply of raw materials and the finished products are adequately stocked for distribution. Logistics and distribution teams work to ensure timely deliveries, optimise routes, and minimise waste. 

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Flavour Houses

For the plant-based meat industry, flavour houses are crucial partners in replicating animal products’ taste and sensory experience. Flavour scientists will customise an array of flavours, using natural and artificial components, to mimic the profiles of animal-based meat while damping any off-flavours and aromas from the plant ingredients. The flavour houses provide support during the formulation process to ensure the stability and consistency of flavours across diverse applications and address processing and shelf life. Flavour houses also research market trends to offer innovative solutions to align with consumer preferences. With their sensory experiences, flavour houses are key to increasing the palatability of plant-based meat.

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Regulatory Affairs

Navigating regulatory requirements for PBM involves ensuring product safety, proper labelling, and compliance with regional and international standards.

  • Safety Assessment: Regulatory affairs teams work on compiling scientific evidence to demonstrate the safety of the food product. This may involve toxicology studies, allergen assessments, and other safety evaluations.
  • Labelling and Claims: Product labels need to provide clear information about the ingredients, nutritional content, and any specific claims made by the product, adhering to local and international regulations.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Regulatory affairs teams liaise with authorities, submitting necessary documentation to ensure compliance with the regulatory framework. If products are being introduced into various markets, regulatory affairs teams must consider and navigate the specific regulations of each country or region.


This function bridges product development’s innovation and scientific aspects with the legal and regulatory requirements necessary for market access. 

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Operate Equipment

Equipment operators in a PBM company play a support function for manufacturing, scale-up, and product development. Their responsibility is to operate and maintain machinery during the various stages of production. These include extruders, mixers, grinders, and other machinery used to process plant-based proteins.

Equipment operators work closely with the product development team to implement changes in machinery settings based on new formulations or processing techniques. Their hands-on expertise allows them to adjust parameters such as temperature, pressure, and speed to achieve the desired texture and quality in the final product. They also contribute valuable insights into the scalability and efficiency of production processes, helping to bridge the gap between lab-, pilot-, and large-scale manufacturing.

Their expertise in equipment operation and troubleshooting is crucial for achieving consistency in the development and production of PBM products.

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Food Application Development

Following the texturisation of the base formulation, the application development stage is dedicated to creating a final product that not only mimics the taste and texture of traditional meat but also aligns with consumer preferences and culinary expectations.

This stage involves formulation adjustments to consider flavourings, functional ingredients, nutrition, aroma, and other organoleptic properties essential for the desired product. The team will engage with flavour houses and functional ingredient suppliers to leverage pre-packaged flavours, vitamins, and aromas tailored to the product’s requirements. Additionally, the team will engage in post-processing steps such as shaping, forming, coating, and pre-cooking to achieve the intended culinary experience. Further processing can be done to ensure the desired shelf life before the product undergoes packaging and labelling. Market testing and delivery of objective feedback to the texturisation and food application team are key to achieving further refinement of a successful end product.

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Quality Control

Quality Control (QC) is a reactive approach concentrating on identifying and correcting defects in the final product. It is often performed by a specific department or team responsible for inspecting, testing, and sampling products. QC activities involve testing raw materials, conducting inspections during production, and performing final product testing. The main objective of QC is to detect and address deviations from quality standards, to ensure that the final products meet required specifications. In the context of a PBM company, QC would involve testing the texture, flavour, nutritional content, and other attributes of the final products, as well as inspecting incoming raw materials for quality.

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Manufacturing

The manufacturing stage of plant-based meat product development involves translating the formulated and tested prototypes into large-scale production processes that meet market demands. 

The manufacturing team consists of scale-up engineers, plant manager, machine operators, and more who will work on taking pilot scale trials to operations at mass-production scale. Understanding of how to alter the processes for scaled machines, setting up facilities within regulation, and running large scale logistics are key to success in this stage. 

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Texturisation

Texturisation experiments test different formulations to see how they perform. The goal is to employ mechanical or biological texturisation methods that transform the globular proteins in plants to mimic the aligned and crosslinked fibrous proteins in animals. This transformation aims to replicate the hierarchical structure of molecules contributing to the texture of animal skeletal muscle.

Mechanical texturisation methods involve applying heat and shear to create aligned protein fibres. The main processes used in the industry include high- and low-moisture extrusion, shear cell technology, 3D printing, wet spinning, and electrospinning. Notably, high- and low-moisture extrusion have been the most scalable and successful methods for recreating plant-based products. The former is utilised for recreating whole-muscle structures, while the latter creates dry textured vegetable proteins.

Biological techniques like enzyme treatments and fermentation can also be utilised to promote crosslinking and gelling of plant-based formulations.

The development team will continuously test different processing parameters. In the case of extrusion, some of the process parameters include moisture content, screw speed, screw configuration, die design, temperature, pressure, feed rate, and more. Slight changes to each parameter will yield a markedly distinct texture in the final product. Experimenting with each formulation using different settings to achieve the desired texture is crucial.

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Quality Assurance

Quality Assurance (QA) is a proactive approach focused on preventing defects or issues before they occur. This effort involves the entire organisation with each department contributing to maintaining high quality standards. QA activities include defining quality standards, developing procedures, conducting audits, and ensuring that the production process is designed to produce high-quality products. The ultimate goal of QA is to establish and maintain processes that ensure the reliability and consistency of the final product. For a PBM company, this could involve developing processes to ensure that raw ingredients meet specific quality standards, implementing robust production and extrusion processes, and having detailed documentation for quality procedures.

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Quality and Regulatory Management

In a PBM food company, regulatory affairs and quality management are paramount to ensure compliance with industry standards, food safety, and consumer expectations. Regulatory affairs involve navigating the complex landscape of local and international food regulations while quality management encompasses activities to test and maintain the quality of the PBM products.

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Develop Texture Formulation

The team now explores various formulation combinations with a focus on attaining the desired texture. Formulation variations will involve differences in the molecule choice and percentage compositions of proteins, fats, texture modifiers, binders, and water, as these key ingredients play a significant role in the final texture. The texture objectives focus on product attributes such as chewiness, hardness, cohesiveness, springiness, and juiciness. Here are examples of how these ingredients influence texture:

  • Proteins create structure and firmness in plant-based products by creating a gelled network during the texturisation process. Examples include soy protein isolate, textured vegetable protein (TVP), pea protein isolate, and wheat gluten.
  • Fats like sunflower, coconut, and canola oils introduce lubrication to products, enhancing juiciness.
  • Texture modifiers—including starches, gums, or hydrocolloids—are used to alter product viscosity and change springiness and cohesiveness.
  • Binders like methylcellulose or transglutaminase play a vital role in chemically or physically binding ingredients, providing cohesiveness, and compactness to the final product.
  • Water is needed for hydrating ingredients and acts as a plasticiser during the texturisation process, ensuring processability and moisture in the final product.

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Consumer and Product Testing

After the formulation and prototyping of PBMs, consumer testing becomes the bridge between the development phase and market launch. The objectives are to understand how well the product aligns with consumer preferences, to identify areas for improvement in terms of flavour, texture, and overall appeal, and to gather insights into the potential market reception.

Consumer testing involves recruiting a group of participants that represent the target audience for PBM products. Sensory tests, surveys, and preference mapping are common methodologies used to collect consumer data. Product testing not only evaluates the sensory aspects of the product but also considers factors like packaging and branding.

The iterative nature of consumer testing allows for adjustments to the formulation based on direct consumer input, ensuring that the final product resonates well with the intended market. The statistical and qualitative data of consumer feedback empowers manufacturers to make informed decisions to enhance the product’s overall consumer appeal and market success.

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Protein Modification

The purified ingredients can be further modified to meet the needs of specific PBM products. In the PBM industry, proteins require specific characteristics that allow them to be easily applied in formulations and contribute to enhanced digestibility and organoleptic properties of the final product. Some desired features include improved water solubility and enhanced functional aspects like emulsification, water- and fat-holding, gelation, and foaming abilities.

Protein modification processes encompass alterations to the sequence or structure achieved through chemical, physical, or biological treatments. Some examples include: 

  1. Salt washing, chemical hydrolysis, and precipitation improve gelation
  2. Heat application modifies structure and reduces antinutrients
  3. Cold plasma treatment enhances functionality and stability
  4. Ball milling boosts hydrophobicity
  5. Sonication improves solubility, emulsification, and foaming
  6. Glycation enhances functionality and stability
  7. Enzyme hydrolysis improves solubility

     

These scalable protein modification techniques are essential for preparing the PBM ingredients for subsequent texturisation and application development.

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Source / Optimise Ingredients

With a product concept in mind, the formulation team will need a base formulation which is a general combination of proteins, fats, flavourings, texture modifiers, colouring agents, binders, stabilisers, vitamins, minerals, nutrition-fortification supplements, and water. Depending on the formulation needs, low-cost, highly functional, and easily processable ingredients must be sourced. 

Firstly, suitable ingredient suppliers that can meet quantity needs and quality standards must be identified. The quality and characteristics of their ingredients—purity, shelf life, nutrition, protein content, etc.—will then need to be verified through supplier audits, on-site visits, and product trials.

Once confirmed, negotiations are needed to detail logistics such as pricing and delivery schedules. It is important to have multiple sourcing options, traceability, and strong partnerships to develop a resilient supply chain.

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Labelling the Final Product

The labelling and packaging processes are crucial to bringing plant-based products to market and ensuring that consumers are informed about the product’s unique characteristics. 

Firstly, accurate ingredient labelling and nutritional information needs to be ensured. Adherence to local and international regulations regarding food labelling includes providing information on ingredient lists, allergens, batch coding, expiration dates, plant-based certifications, and serving size suggestions.

Furthermore, providing comprehensive nutritional information, including protein content, vitamins, minerals, and other relevant details will be required. It is also important that instructions on storage conditions and handling (e.g., freezing, cooking, and refrigeration) ensure that consumers maintain the product’s quality and safety. Lastly, market-informed packaging is essential for capturing consumer attention. The labelling and packaging process is not only about providing information but also about creating a trustworthy brand image.

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Ingredient Extraction, Fractionation, and Purification

The next step involves extracting desired ingredients from developed crops. There are two steps needed to obtain proteins, flavours, aromas, colours, oils, and bioactive compounds from raw plant materials while ensuring high purity and functionality:

Ingredient Extraction: The initial step involves extracting target components from the plant matrix. The extraction methods include dehulling, milling, solvent extraction, cold pressing, steam distillation, or other techniques. Even after extraction, the obtained mixture still contains unnecessary compounds with unwanted features.

Fractionation and Purification: Fractionation is the process of separating the extracted mixture into different fractions based on specific properties such as molecular weight, solubility, or chemical structure. Dry fractionation can be achieved through sieving, sifting, air classification, electrostatic separation, or a combination of these solvent-free techniques. In contrast, wet fractionation uses solvents to extract, precipitate, and centrifuge proteins, oils, carbohydrates, and fibres. Techniques like chromatography, filtration, distillation, or crystallisation are used to isolate and refine these fractions to the standard of purity needed for the desired ingredient.

These purified ingredients are then supplied to product developers for final modification.

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Formulation & Texturisation

Once desired ingredients are available for sourcing, the product development phase starts by creating a concept to detail the desired properties of the final product. Development then continues by creating a foundational formulation and developing a corresponding texturisation technique to achieve these properties. With the experiments designed, the team will source ingredients and iterate on the formulation and texturisation parameters until the specified texture profile of the end product is achieved. While texture takes precedence at this stage, consideration must be given to nutrition, organoleptic properties of the formulation, and scalability of the ingredients and process.

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Post-Processing

Post-processing of the final texturised formulation is employed to achieve the desired end-product shape and form, enhance texture, and pre-cook the product to its ready-to-eat state. Some examples of these are listed below: 

  • Shaping, tearing, and forming PBM products can be done to mimic traditional meat forms, such as burgers, sausages, or nuggets. 
  • Coating, battering, and breading are applied to enhance flavour, create a crispy texture, or provide a protective layer. 
  • Some PBMs are partially or fully cooked—including baking, steaming, or frying—before reaching supermarket shelves or consumers.
  • Marination is employed to infuse flavours into the product. It can involve soaking PBM in a mixture of liquids and spices to enhance taste.
  • Freezing is used for preservation, extending product shelf life, and maintaining quality.

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Crop Optimisation

The optimisation of PBM ingredients begins by developing the crops responsible for their production. Crop modification in the food industry employs genetic engineering and selective breeding to enhance nutritional content, functionality, and production efficiency. The industry targets goals such as increased crop yield, resistance to pests and diseases, improved taste or texture, increased protein content, and enhanced environmental adaptability.

Genetic engineering involves directly manipulating a plant’s genes to improve its characteristics. This is achieved by inserting genes from other organisms—such as bacteria, fungi, or different plant species—into the plant’s genome. Alternatively, technologies like CRISPR-Cas9 enable precise modifications to the plant’s DNA without introducing foreign genes.

Selective or traditional breeding relies on selecting and mating plants with desirable traits. This iterative process develops new crop varieties with improved characteristics. 

Outcomes of these techniques include protein-enriched crops like soybeans, quinoa, barley, canola, and millets.

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Develop Application Formulation

The application development team refines the formulation to guarantee taste and nutritional outcomes. The team will work internally or with flavour houses to ensure that the flavour and aroma of the product best represent the animal protein target. Some challenges here involve masking the beany flavours from plant ingredients, countering bitterness from protein extracts, managing grainy undertones from plant proteins, and mitigating lingering aftertastes. The team can add functional ingredients, developed internally or sourced externally, to ensure that nutrition targets are met. Some common nutritional components fortified in plant-based meats include iron, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, vitamin D, and specific amino acids. The addition of these customised ingredient packages is imperative to meeting end product requirements.

Related Job Roles:

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Ingredient Extraction and Optimisation

Ingredient extraction and optimisation is the pivotal first stage in PBM manufacturing. In this stage, specific components are acquired from raw materials to formulate the desired PBM product. More specifically, this process involves extracting and purifying functional ingredients—such as proteins, flavours, colours, oils, and bioactive compounds—from crops to match the functional needs of the PBM product. To enhance the functionality and viability of these ingredients in food products, the crop can undergo modification through selective breeding or genetic engineering. The final purified product can then be further optimised through chemical or physical means.

This tool is divided into three sections to enhance your learning experience:

Technology Value
Chain Map

This interactive map provides a holistic view of the roles and functions integral to creating a PBM product. Follow the directional arrows to understand the interconnected steps crucial for product success. Hover over each bubble to delve deeper into the specifics of each step and the associated job archetypes.

Key
Development Phases

To simplify the wealth of information, we’ve segmented the map into three key development phases: Ingredient Development, Product Development, and Manufacturing. This allows you to focus on the distinct steps involved in each phase, aiding a more nuanced understanding of the production process.

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Job
Archetypes

The heart of this tool lies in the Job Archetypes section. Here, you’ll uncover the most pertinent details for those eager to build a career in the industry. Click on the associated archetypes for any step along the process to access comprehensive information, including job descriptions, skills requirements, suitable candidate profiles, and tailored training and education programmes to directly elevate your skills for these roles.

Within these phases, the map guides you through
the five crucial stages of plant-based meat (PBM) development:

Within each stage, discover the specific steps and requirements essential for advancing the product along the value chain.

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Click on each step bubble to delve deeper into the role and explore associated job archetypes

Your journey into the PBM development process awaits!