Meat Substitutes And The Vegetarian Lifestyle

Eating well without sensory deprivation or emotional starvation

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Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Meat analogs such as tofu and wheat gluten are still associated with Taoist and Buddhist cuisine throughout East Asia.

Wheat gluten

Though most vegetarians are familiar with tofu many are not familiar with Wheat. gluten is a dough-like textured food made from the main protein of wheat. It is made by washing 100% whole wheat flour dough with water until all the starch granules have been removed, leaving the sticky insoluble gluten as an elastic mass, which is then cooked before being eaten.

Soy protein isolate or soybean flour and gluten are usually used as foundations for most meat analogs that are available on the market.

protein isolate is a highly pure form of soy protein with a minimum protein content of 90%. The process of extracting the protein from the soybeans starts with the dehulling, or decortication, of the seeds. The seeds are then treated with solvents such as hexane in order to extract the oil from them. The oil-free soybean meal is then suspended in water and treated with alkali to dissolve the protein while leaving behind the carbohydrates. The alkaline solution is then treated with acidic substances in order to precipitate the protein, before being washed and dried. The removal of fats and carbohydrates results in a product that has a relatively neutral flavor[ Soy protein is also considered a “complete protein” as it contains all of the essential amino acids that are crucial for proper human growth and development.


There are many solid alternatives to animal protein. Still, watch out for food allergies, there are various food additives including flavor compounds, coloring agents, leavening agents, and emulsifiers that may be added to give the product a meaty taste, texture, and color.

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