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Vegan meat is mostly made with soy protein or textured vegetable protein that comes in powdered form. The difference in the molecular structure of soy protein and meat protein is the biggest challenge in the making of vegan meat. Meat protein is fibrous while soy protein is globular. Hence the manufacturers have to alter the molecular structure of soy to make vegan meat. It is done by treating soy protein with heat or acid, and then running the mixture through a food extruder to reshape it.
Denaturing soy molecules makes it more fibrous. The molecules are then held together by using a gel like xanthan gum or carrageenan.
Vegan meat can also be made using wheat gluten. As gluten has a stretchy texture, modifying it is easier. Natural coconut flakes can also be used to make vegan meat.
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