Plant-based meat analogues: The taste challenges and prospects


Despite the fast progress of delivering specific meaty cooking cues in today’s modern plant-based meat analogues, authentic beefy, chicken or pork sensorial experiences are still missing. This is due to different challenges facing both the flavor and the food industry alike; first (i) the overwhelmingly intrinsic off flavor profile coming from textured plant proteins used, then (ii) the flavor-scavenging feature of the plant proteins and meat analogues other ingredients they suck up the flavors like a sponge sucks up water, which leads to unbalanced flavor performance and weaker and inconsistent flavor stability and finally (iii) the lack of authentic vegan and natural meaty flavors that would create the genuine characterizing meat sensory experience.

The objective of my presentation is to shed a light on the challenges and the opportunities of the very balancing act between the flavor and food industry trying to leverage flavor creation, the science and technology of taste and the culinary art to impart the consumers craving meaty notes; be it burger flavor, chicken nuggets taste profile, sausage flavor cues, balanced fish notes etc.

A presentation by Nadji Rekhif, Senior Flavor Scientist, Nestle Development Center , Solon, Ohio, US. His function is to Drive flavor development and deployment in frozen and chilled food.


Question 1: What drives you?
Make a difference in my professional and private life

Question 2: Why should the delegate attend your presentation?
Receive up to date first hand information on the what are the challenges facing the flavor and food scientists to deliver a great meat analogue taste appeal and what are the innovative white spaces that could address such hurdles.

Question 3: What emerging technologies/trends do you see as having the greatest potential in the short and long run?
I strongly believe that computational gastronomy, 3D and cell based technologies are the future.

Question 4: What kind of impact do you expect them to have?
These three tech white spaces would create a game change in the food industry

Question 5: What are the barriers that might stand in the way?
– Consumer wide acceptance
– Focused food industry investment

About Nadji Rekhif
Dr. Nadji Rekhif is currently a Senior Flavor Scientist at Nestle Development Center Solon Ohio with 20 years in taste and aroma field. He is a member of IFT Scientific and Discovery division and IFT protein division leadership. Dr. Nadji Rekhif received his B.S. degree in Microbiology from University of Constantine (Algeria) and did his Master and Ph.D. in Biotechnology and Food Industry from Poly-Technique Institute of Lorraine in Nancy, France. He’s a Senior lecturer at Akron University, School of Nutrition and Dietetics. He holds many scientific papers and patents.

About Nestle Development Center , Solon, Ohio, US
The Nestle R&D center Solon aim is to address changing customer food tastes and preferences, by producing healthier and tastier products by combining R&D capability and nutrition science.
It is focused on conducting research and developing new and innovative products for Nestlé’s frozen and chilled food businesses, including Meals solutions, Pizza and lately Plant based meal solution…

Nadji Rekhif will be speaking at the 2021 edition of the Protein Transition Conference.

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