Making plant-based meat without extrusion


Dr. McClements is developing an innovative structural design approach for creating plant-based meat with fibrous texture.


TECHNOLOGY SECTOR:  End product formulation and manufacturing

Gfi's competitive research grants program badge, featuring a whole cut of meat within a magnifying glass representing research

Project aims

This project develops an innovative approach to creating fiber-like structures from plant-based proteins based on controlled phase separation, shearing, and gelation. It also establishes structure-function relationships between food composition and microstructure and food quality attributes.

This work will improve the texture of plant-based meat and advance our technological ability to create meat-like fibers without extrusion.

Principal researcher

Gfi grantee dr. David julian mcclements, distinguished professor, fergus clydesdale endowed chair, department of food science, university of massachusetts, usa

Dr. David Julian McClements

Distinguished Professor, Fergus Clydesdale Endowed Chair, Department of Food Science, University of Massachusetts, USA

Dr. McClements leads a multidisciplinary team of researchers focused on taste physiology and sensory science, gut health, food processing, and plant-based meat product development. His research focuses on food architecture and the application of soft matter physics to improve food safety, nutrition, and quality.

Book cover for future foods, depicting vector graphic of meat on a plate

Future Foods: How Modern Science is Transforming the Way We Eat

Check out this book from Dr. McClements on the scientific and technological advances in food science that will shape our future diets.

View related grant projects

A plate piled with grilled beyond meat plant-based mediterranean skewers on a bed of greens and grape tomatoes

Microstructure engineering

Learn about GFI grantee Dr. Mario Martinez’s work at the University of Guelph engineering microstructures for whole-muscle plant-based meat.

Fresh fava beans in a bowl

Texturizing proteins and fiber

GFI grantee Dr. Girish Ganjyal at Washington State University is texturizing proteins and fiber to make better plant-based meat.

Plant-based meat on a grill

Shear cell technology

GFI grantee Dr. Birgit Dekkers at Rival Foods in The Netherlands is developing shear cell technology to make whole cuts of plant-based meat.

Red seaweed

Texturizing seaweed proteins

Learn about Dr. Yoav Livney’s work at The Technion – Israel Institute of Technology texturizing seaweed proteins for plant-based seafood.

Explore research opportunities

  • Cultivated icon Cultivated
  • Fermentation icon Fermentation
  • Plant-based icon Plant-Based

Consumer and sensory research to guide alternative fish R&D

Consumer and sensory research can help companies and academic researchers better understand seafood consumers’ needs and desires. Understanding consumers’ needs will allow alternative fish researchers to ask and prioritize the…

Read more
  • Cultivated icon Cultivated
  • Fermentation icon Fermentation
  • Plant-based icon Plant-Based

Catalog of animal meat flavors

Creating a catalog of molecules responsible for the characteristic flavor of a species will enable alternative protein product manufacturers to create products that more accurately replicate the sensory experience of…

Read more
  • Cultivated icon Cultivated
  • Fermentation icon Fermentation
  • Plant-based icon Plant-Based

Optimizing fat profiles for nutritional and sensory properties

Because alternative meat’s fat content and fatty acid profile can be more easily controlled than conventional meat’s, there is an opportunity to alter fat content for nutritional benefits. Additional research…

Read more

Dr. McClements’ seminar presentation

Watch Dr. McClements present in our Science of Alt Protein seminar series.

Webinar screen shot