Texturized vegetable proteins

Texturized vegetable proteins

Lead the future with plant-based meat alternatives.

A foreground of a Mexican taco with some plant-based meat inside

Why invest in New Foods: the voice of the market

People's needs and daily eating habits are changing, driving a shift towards vegetable protein products.

Alongside vegetarian and vegan diets, the "flexitarian diet" or semi-vegetarianism is also gaining traction, which means that more consumers are seeking alternative foods to meat or fish with the intention of reducing or eliminating their consumption, driven by several reasons from the ethical to the healthy one. This trend is supported by official statistics: a market that was worth $29.4 billion in 2020, reached $44.2 billion in 2022, and is estimated to reach $161.9 billion in 2030.

New Food is based on precise principles such as: feeding more people using fewer resources, reducing the carbon footprint, increasing animal welfare, limiting water consumption and the environmental impact in terms of pollution.

GEA is responding to this strong market and social demand through the technological development of innovative machinery and plants, working on the entire production chain of plant-based meat alternatives, from raw material to finished product.

A scheme showing the main tvp principles

1. Sustainability: Consumers are not only interested in products being healthy in relation to the well-being of their bodies and organism, but have become more sensitive to the ethical debate related to the entire production chain, for a reduced impact on the planet and its animals. 

2. Evolution of the food world: People, increasingly open to new forms of food, are leading the change. At the same time, the catering industry itself is starting to include the use of alternative proteins in its gastronomic offerings.

3. Uniformity, safety and hygiene standards: The use of textured vegetable protein (TVP) reduces the possibility of contamination because, as the product is sterile, it prevents the development of pathogens.


Trend deep dive.

The world of culinary innovation awaits you: Explore the GEA New Food Frontiers report, featuring insights from 1,000+ Chefs globally.

Read the report

GEA and TVP’s texturization

Texturization is a process by which vegetable proteins, such as those of peas, lupins, lentils, broad beans and wheat, are deconstructed from their globular structure and realigned into fibers, in order to obtain products that mimic the texture of meat or fish.

These proteins can be long or short fiber, and have different characteristics depending on the source, protein content, granule shape and system used. This feature is used as indicator of which type is best suited to reproduce the appearance and texture of the desired meat alternative.

GEA, with its tried and tested extrusion technology, creates solutions that texturize dry proteins using a twin-screw extruder, but is also able to offer alternatives for wet proteins. The difference between the two (dry and wet proteins) lies in the degree of moisture absorbed, leading to different fields of application.

A scheme showing the differences between dry and wet tvp from a product, texture, shelf life, raw materials and application point of view

Realizable Texturized Vegetable Proteins

A macro photo showing the different types of texturized vegetables protein

The production is driven by balanced and determined steps

  • 1
    A mix of white flour

    A device in which different flours, dry raw materials, are mixed and blended together homogeneously.

  • 2
    A rendering of an industrial gravimetric dosing unit

    The gravimetric dosing geometry is specific to handle the typical particle sizes of the different flours involved, such as protein isolates.

  • 3
    A rendering of an industrial pre mixer showing the screw

    High-speed mixer that homogenizes the distribution of the water in the flour stream, creating a homogeneous dough.

  • 4
    A rendering of an industrial mixer for flours

    A basin that is ready to be used with steam, which is sometimes necessary for leguminous flours.

  • 5
    A rendering of an industrial extrusor

    GEA xTru Twin is the tailor-made solution for a versatile screw configuration, specifically for the application of textured proteins. A tailor-made suit for each raw material and foodstuff you want to create.

  • 6
    A rotary cutter with some flakes around

    The product takes the desired shape before being cut.

  • 7
    A rendering of an industrial dryer

    This is not a mandatory step, it depends on the food to be obtained.

  • 8
    Conveyor belt with flakes on the top

    The product reaches the packing temperature that prevents the undesirable development of condensation inside the product.

Why choose GEA XTru Twin

Utilizing GEA extruders for vegetable protein texturization offers tangible benefits to manufacturers by enabling control over variable thermo-hygrometric conditions and high process temperatures, facilitating protein denaturation and the transformation of protein bodies into a homogeneous, fibrous matrix with reduced solubility and dispersion in water.

A single partner for the entire production cycle.

Food processors can profit from this growing demand for plant-based alternative foods by identifying the right technological partner.

GEA covers the entire meat analogues production chain thanks to two Technology Centers in constant cooperation between them: Food Extrusion and Food Applications and Solutions. The first division deals with the texturization of wet and dry vegetable proteins that, through extrusion, give rise to TVP granules that can be marketed as finished products, or be processed with the technologies developed by the Food Applications and Solutions business unit to become food products such as burgers, nuggets and many others.

The technological approach, combined with its proven knowledge in food industrialization, plant-based products and extrusion processes, ensure a production of textured plant proteins designed to meet this new challenge, by:

1. Turning ideas into reality thanks to the use of pilot plants, in which the customer can exclusively test the products manufactured on GEA machinery to obtain the desired product quality;

2. Characterizing the raw material through its own laboratory;

3. Analize and develop new products with the GEA Research and Development department, also collaborating with external bodies such as universities;

4. Ensuring tried and tested extrusion technologies from a comprehensive knowledge of industrial extrusion process.

The future of meat alternatives: plant-based extruded products

Discover how GEA can guide you through all the steps for the production of meat-alternatives, thanks to an advanced knowledge in the plant-based food extrusion process.

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