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Keywords:

  • meat alternatives;
  • mycoprotein;
  • wheat protein;
  • purines;
  • hyperuricaemia;
  • gout

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The meat alternatives market offers a wide range of products resembling meat in taste, flavour or texture but based on vegetable protein sources. These high protein–low purine foods may find application in a low purine or purine-free diet, which is sometimes suggested for subjects with increased serum urate levels, i.e. hyperuricaemia.

RESULTS: We determined purine content (uric acid, adenine, guanine, hypoxanthine, xanthine) in 39 commercially available meat substitutes and evaluated them in relation to their protein content. Some of the products contained a comparable sum of adenine and hypoxanthine per protein as meat. Analysis of variance showed an influence of protein source used. Mycoprotein-based products had significantly higher contents (2264 mg kg−1) of adenine and hypoxanthine per kg of 100% protein than soybean-based products (1648 mg kg−1) or mixtures consisting of soybean protein and wheat protein (1239 mg kg−1).

CONCLUSION: Protein-rich vegetable-based meat substitutes might be generally accepted as meat alternatives for individuals on special diets. The type of protein used to manufacture these products determines the total content of purines, which is relatively higher in the case of mycoprotein or soybean protein, while appearing lower in wheat protein and egg white-based products. These are therefore more suitable for dietary considerations in a low-purine diet for hyperuricaemic subjects. Copyright © 2010 Society of Chemical Industry