Plant-Based Meat Alternatives: Technological, Nutritional, Environmental, Market, and Social Challenges and Opportunities

Giulia Andreani, Giovanni Sogari*, Alessandra Marti, Federico Froldi, H. Dagevos, Daniela Martini

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


There is a growing awareness that fostering the transition toward plant-based diets with reduced meat consumption levels is essential to alleviating the detrimental impacts of the food system on the planet and to improving human health and animal welfare. The reduction in average meat intake may be reached via many possible ways, one possibility being the increased consumption of plant-based meat alternatives (PBMAs). For this reason, in recent years, hundreds of products have been launched on the market with sensory attributes (i.e., taste, texture, appearance, and smell) similar to their animal counterparts; however, these products have often a long list of ingredients and their nutritional values are very different from animal meat. The present review aims to highlight the main opportunities and challenges related to the production and consumption of PBMAs through an interdisciplinary approach. Aspects related to the production technology, nutritional profiles, potential impacts on health and the environment, and the current market and consumer acceptance of PBMAs are discussed. Focusing on the growing literature on this topic, this review will also highlight research gaps related to PBMAs that should be considered in the future, possibly through the collaboration of different stakeholders that can support the transition toward sustainable plant-based diets.

Original languageEnglish
Article number452
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2023


  • alternative proteins
  • consumer acceptance
  • flexitarianism
  • meat analogs
  • SDGs
  • sustainability


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