There has been little in the way of publicly-announced R&D or commercial efforts to develop the next generation of tasty and affordable plant-based turkey products. There is room for innovation toward different formats and more complex products with higher fidelity to conventional turkey.
End product formulation & manufacturing
Plant-based meat snacks could tap into underlying trends in snacks replacing meals and increased consumer interest in high-protein, low-sugar foods. Product innovation is needed to match the taste, price, and availability of animal options.
Coordinated efforts to develop standardized, comprehensive research toolkits of meat-relevant species would exponentially accelerate cultivated meat research.
Open-access blueprints would provide a head start on facility design and allow equipment manufacturers and engineering companies to address standard industry needs.
A more comprehensive understanding of the processes, structures, and molecular constituents governing meat's organoleptic properties will inform the production of alternative proteins.
Companies entering the alt protein space often struggle to secure line time at demonstration-scale and mid-scale commercial production facilities. Greater availability of mid-scale contract capacity would reduce capital outlays and facilitate scaling, allowing alt protein companies to maintain greater control over their equity and exercise more influence within the supply chain. Contracting production allows for a more modular supply chain, with participants achieving gains from specialization, allowing for better financial and organizational structuring around core competencies.
Fat and moisture retention are critical to the organoleptic properties of meat and must be perfected across all alternative protein platforms. Solutions for encapsulating fat and moisture are necessary to ensure that these components are protected from damage or loss throughout manufacturing, storage, cooking, and mastication.
Directories of contract manufacturers for plant-based production, fermentation, and animal cell culture
The alt protein industry would benefit from better open-access directories of co-manufacturers interested in producing alternative proteins, including more detail on their equipment and capabilities.
A number of cellular processes occurring after slaughter are known to affect the quality and sensory properties of conventional meat. Cultivated meat will offer unprecedented control over these parameters and therefore over the quality of the final product, but it is critical to understand exactly how post-harvest processes for cultivated meat can or should differ from post-slaughter processes in conventional meat. This research can enable subsequent innovations in bioprocess design, media formulation, cell line development, or harvesting techniques to confer consistently high levels of meat quality from cultivated meat processes.
Plant-based food manufacturers often struggle with batch-to-batch ingredient inconsistency and variability between suppliers. Better analytical tools for predicting plant-based ingredient performance could improve manufacturing efficiency and create more transparent ingredient markets. Tools are needed to predict how ingredients will perform after various processing methods and in end-product applications like plant-based meat and dairy.