Potential Use of Underutilised Mushroom Stems in Meat Products and Meat Analogues: A Mini Review
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Keywords:mushroom waste, mushrooms products, meat plant-based alternative, underutilised mushroom stems, vegetarian meat
The demand for meat has gradually increased throughout the years, and it is more widely ingested than plant products due to its sensory qualities as well as its high nutritional content, mainly protein. However, meat is low in calcium, dietary fibre, and vitamin C. Consumers' increased awareness of the possible links between nutrition and health has recently led to major dietary changes toward healthier food options. Furthermore, rising meat prices, vegetarianism, concerns about animal suffering, and sustainability issues have driven market trends toward meat alternatives from plant sources. As such, mushrooms are regarded as one of the healthier ingredients due to their nutritive, bioactive, and therapeutic values. The fibrous structure mimics the texture of meat and possesses an umami flavour, which imparts a meaty taste to the food products. Globally, Asian countries generate the highest percentage of overall mushroom production. The application of mushrooms, however, is limited to the fruiting bodies rather than the stems, which also contain high dietary fibre content. The stems are often discarded as food waste due to their tough texture. Researchers have begun to use edible mushroom waste and their by-products, especially stems, to create value-added products in a variety of sectors, such as the food industry, owing to their nutritional values and contributions to the circular economy and environmental protection. Thus, the primary intent of this review is to discuss the potential of underutilised mushroom stems in meat products.
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