Proteins obtained from alternative sources such as plants, microorganisms, and insects have attracted considerable interest in the formulation of new food products that have a lower environmental footprint and offer means to feed a growing world population. In contrast to many established proteins, and protein fractions for which a substantial amount of knowledge has accumulated over the years, much less information is available on these emerging proteins. This article reviews the current state of knowledge on alternative proteins and their sources, highlighting gaps that currently pose obstacles to their more widespread application in the food industry. The compositional, structural, and functional properties of alternative proteins from various sources, including plants, algae, fungi, and insects, are critically reviewed. In particular, we focus on the factors associated with the creation of protein-rich functional ingredients from alternative sources. The various protein fractions in these sources are described as well as their behavior under different environmental conditions (e.g., pH, ionic strength, and temperature). The extraction approaches available to produce functional protein ingredients from these alternative sources are introduced as well as challenges associated with designing large-scale commercial processes. The key technofunctional properties of alternative proteins, such as solubility, interfacial activity, emulsification, foaming, and gelation properties, are introduced. In particular, we focus on the formation of isotropic and anisotropic structures suitablefor creating meat and dairy product analogs using various structuring techniques. Finally, selected studies on consumer acceptance and sustainability of alternative protein products are considered.
Process Engineering, Biotechnology, Nutrition Technology