Study shows human cells absorb less nutrients from plant-based protein than chicken

A recent study showed that meat substitutes provided human cells with less protein than chicken.

The study, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, was led by Da Chen, PhD, researcher at the department of food science and technology, at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. According to the study, many plant-based meat substitutes claim to be more healthy than animal meat as they are high in protein and low in unhealthy fats.

Previous studies have shown that meat substitutes do not break down into peptides as well as animal meat. Chen and his team of researchers set out to discover if human cells were able to absorb peptides derived from plant-based protein as well as they are chicken.

For the study, researchers designed a model of meat made from soy and gluten. The substitute was based off chicken, revealing long fibrous strands when cut open. Scientists ground up pieces of the plant-based meat as well as pieces of chicken and then cooked both. In vitro tests were then performed on the substances.

The study’s results showed that the peptides from the meat substitutes were less water-soluble than those from the chicken. In addition, human cells had a harder time absorbing the meat substitute peptides when compared to cell absorption of chicken peptides.

These results suggest that many meat substitutes may not provide the same level of nutrients as animal meat. According to the study’s researchers, these findings could lead to the development of more nutritious plant-based meat substitutes.