The consumption of meat alternatives and plant-based drinks is steadily increasing in Germany as well as worldwide. The food industry is responding to this growing demand with a wide range of plant-based products that have now become integral parts of supermarket shelves. However, there is still a lack of comprehensive data regarding the exact composition of nutrients, as well as limited information on residues and contaminants in the products available in the German market.
In a 2-year study conducted by the Max Rubner-Institute (MRI), the most commonly consumed plant-based drinks in Germany (oat, almond, and soy drinks) were closely examined. The study aimed to address the following questions in particular:
What is the composition of these drinks in terms of macronutrients, vitamins, minerals, trace elements, and selected secondary plant compounds?
What pesticide residues or mold toxins might be present in plant-based drinks?
Summarized results from the study will be presented which will provide insights into the nutritional and safety-related aspects of these popular plant-based beverages.
In another contribution, meat substitutes and sausage substitute products are examined. Results are provided by the MRI's product monitoring, which looks at the energy and nutrient composition of various product categories. Selected results on the current energy and nutrient composition of top-selling subgroups of meat and sausage alternatives, as well as their changes over time, will be presented.
Results from the product monitoring on meat alternatives
Dr. Lara Frommherz, Head of laboratory for food analysis/German Nutrient Database, Max Rubner Institute Federal Research Institute of Nutrition and Food, Karlsruhe, Germany
Ingredients in plant drinks and their nutritional evaluation
Dr. Corinna Gréa, Head of the working group German Product Monitoring, Max Rubner Institute Federal Research Institute of Nutrition and Food, Karlsruhe, Germany
Undesirable ingredients in plant drinks
Dr. Ronald Maul, Deputy Head, Max Rubner Institute Federal Research Institute of Nutrition and Food, Department of Safety and Quality of Milk and Fish Products, Kiel, Germany