Duke University researchers looked at the nutritional content of plant-based meat alternatives using 'metabolomics'
Plant-based meat alternatives may look and cook like real meat, but scientists say that the nutritional components may not be the same.
Researchers at Duke University compared 36 food samples -- 18 of widely known plant-based meat alternatives to 18 grass-fed ground beef options from a ranch in Idaho. For each sample, they measured the number of metabolites, small molecules that make up the nutrients in foods.
The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, discovered the beef contained 22 metabolites that the plant-based substitutes did not have. The plant-based meat, meanwhile, contained 31 metabolites that meat did not include. Researchers found the largest disparities were in vitamins, amino acids and types of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids found in both food products among other variables.