Plank met veggie vlees

Knowledge development on the impact of process parameters and ingredients on taste and texture with the aim of developing high-quality meat analogues

Why this project?

The national and international markets for meat analogues are still small at present, and the current market supply is still limited, but both are growing steadily. To strengthen this growth, it is essential to further expand the offerings and to improve product quality. Currently, the Flemish meat analogue producers and ingredient producers/suppliers often still conduct product development on the basis of trial and error.

Although much research has already been carried out, many challenges remain. The VegAnalog project aims to expand the knowledge base by further optimising production processes and by investigating new ingredients. This will greatly improve product quality and, in particular, product taste and texture. 

Methodology and expected results

VegAnalog is a collective research, development and knowledge dissemination project (COOCK+ type - Collective R&D and Collective Dissemination of Knowledge). The overall objective of this project is to improve and implement the knowledge related to the ingredients (plant-based proteins and fats, hydrocolloids) and the production processes of high-quality meat analogues for the intended audience in order to make these products more attractive to flexitarians.

The focus here is on two key quality attributes – texture and taste/aroma – whereby texture influences the taste perception and is responsible for the food-specific mouthfeel during chewing. Two generic model products will be used, namely emulsified sausage analogues (product type "sandwich sausage analogue") and minced meat analogues (product type "hamburger analogue"). The model products differ greatly in terms of ingredients used, production processes and therefore texture and taste.

Within the project, these objectives will be achieved by building a knowledge matrix. This matrix will include the following:

  • The optimal application of production processes (e.g. cutter time and temperature, heating conditions, process parameters when producing HME).
  • The use of ingredients and additives (proteins, fats, hydrocolloids, aromas, spices) to create the texture and taste/aroma of meat analogues.

The project will develop a basic recipe for hamburger and emulsified sausage analogues around which this knowledge matrix will be further developed.

In order to translate and disseminate knowledge on the production and quality of meat analogues to the broader target group, five hands-on workshops will be organised, for each of which an e-learning module will also be developed.

Target group

The target group consists of meat analogue manufacturers and the manufacturers and suppliers of meat analogue ingredients.

Project partners

Flanders’ FOOD manages and coordinates the project.

The project is carried out in cooperation with:

Flanders' FOOD logo
KU Leuven

Keen to join?

The project was launched in December 2023 and will run until November 2026 (project duration: 3 years). To make the results as relevant as possible, a steering committee has been set up. This steering committee consists of food companies that produce/want to produce meat analogues, ingredient suppliers and the Fenavian Federation. Participation in the steering committee is possible up until the end of the project.

Participation fee and conditions

A financial contribution to the guarantee fund and membership in FF is required for participation in the project. For more information on the fee and conditions, please contact the project coordinator.

Project coördinator

Nina Kellner
Nina Kellner
innovation manager