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Alternative Proteins

Traditionally, when consumers think about consuming protein, they choose animal protein sources such as meat, poultry or fish products. In today’s cuisine, the sources of protein have changed.

Plant protein foods are becoming mainstream to take up space at some dinner tables. Soy foods have been around for years. Other plant sources include peas, wheat and others. New ground products include soy leghemoglobin or beet juice to give them the red color and “bleed” like animal meat. In some products, methylcellulose is used to bind the ingredients together to be made into “meat-like” shapes. There are many ingredients in these products and vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.

These products give consumers choice. They still need to meet food safety regulations and still must be handled safely by the consumer. Learn more at


About Karen Blakeslee

The Rapid Response Center was formed in 1995 as a resource for Kansas State University Research & Extension Agents. Resource topics included Food Science, Human Nutrition, Food Service, Textiles, Home Care and other consumer topics. Since that time, the Center has grown to be of valuable assistance to Kansas State University Extension Specialists in those areas.

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