Peptides from plant proteins such as soy and wheat gluten used in alt-chicken display less water-solubility than animal protein and are not absorbed as well by human cells. These are the key findings of a new study into the nutrient absorption of plant proteins conducted by the American Chemical Society (ACS), a nonprofit organization chartered by the US Congress.
Two of the study’s researchers spoke to FoodIngredientsFirst. “This study adds another piece of data at the molecular level to conclude specifically that these particular meat substitutes did not break down into peptides as efficiently as the meat proteins, and therefore are not as digestible for body growth and function compared to meat proteins,” says Dr. Robert McGorrin, one of the study’s authors.
The importance of the absorption of peptides by human cells is tied to their transport across the gut into the bloodstream for nutrient uptake. Water solubility enhances transport and absorption of peptides by human cells.