Contextualising texturisation

A leading South African consultant in the texturisation of soy, Juerg Haensler, says that soy achieves a far higher production of protein per hectare than any other agricultural product – including (in declining order) wheat, rice, meat and milk. Texturisation is based on a continuous cooking process with controlled temperatures and pressures, using shear forces.
Texturisation has the advantage that the processor can make products tailor-made according to customer requirements and local eating habits. "They can be made fish-like, chicken-like or similar to a rough goulash," he says.
Also, texturised products may be composed of both vegetable- as well as animal-sourced raw materials.
Raw material requirements for texturisation are material of protein content greater than 60%, a nitrogen solubility index of 55-60%, a fat content of less than 1%, raw fibre of less than 3%, and particle size of less than 400 micron.
The fat content of the soy should be as low as possible because the higher the fat content, the more energy is required in the lamination of the protein fibre. Hulls also negatively influence the smoothness of the meat and negatively affect pallatability. For meat extension, a fairly fine product is required, he says.
Haensler says that "energy and infrastructure are the issue" in texturisation. For production of up to 1.5t/hour, energy of 400kW is required; and for up to 3.8t/hour, energy of 1,000kW.
Plant for the production of TSP (textured soy protein) initially consists of a mixer in which the soy and meat or others protein materials are mixed. TSP is more commonly known as TVP (textured vegetable protein), but that is a proprietary name of US multinational ADM, he points out.
Volumetric control is important, necessitating a feeder. Water and steam are added to the process from containers, as well as pressure to achieve the exact lamination transformation required. A fluid bed drier/cooler or a belt drier/cooler are also required.
TSP products like mince, chunks and schnitzels generally have a moisture content of around 12%. "TSP is an excellent protein source, and is accepted due to its meat-like structure. Capital investment and operating costs are relatively low, and raw material handling and product storage is easy. It is a cheap and health alternative to meat – it is a product of the future."
Haensler says wheat gluten gives a very good structure and is therefore used in the pet food industry, for instance.
Haensler: Tel 083-448-2418;
juerg.haensler@buhlergroup.com