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 14 jun 2024 09:31 

Analysis of the Nutritional Composition of Ready-to-Use Meat Alternatives in Belgium


The interest in meat alternatives has increased over the years as people embrace more varied food choices because of different reasons.
This study aims to analyse the nutritional composition of ready-to-use meat alternatives and compare them with meat (products). Methods: Nutritional composition values were collected in 2022 of all ready-to-use meat alternatives in Belgian supermarkets, as well as their animal-based counterparts.
A one-sample t-test was performed to test the nutritional composition of ready-to-use meat alternatives against norm values, while an independent samples t-test was used to make the comparison with meat. Results: Minced meat and pieces/strips/cubes scored favourably on all norm values. Cheeseburgers/schnitzels, nut/seed burgers and sausages contained more than 10 g/100 g total fat. The saturated fat and salt content was lower than the norm value in each category.
Legume burgers/falafel contained less than 10 g/100 g protein. Vegetarian/vegan minced meat and bacon contained fewer calories, total and saturated fat, and more fibre compared to their animal-based counterparts.

Conclusions: Minced meat and pieces/strips/cubes came out as the most favourable categories regarding nutritional composition norm values. Vegetarian/vegan steak came out the least favourable compared to steak, while vegetarian/vegan minced meat and vegetarian/vegan bacon came out the most favourable compared to their animal-based counterparts.

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