Environmental, Nutritional and Cost Impacts of Beef/Lentil Blended Burgers

As the interest in nutritious and environmentally-responsible food increases, and most consumers continue to keep meat on their plates, the industry must rise to meet the demands of a growing flexitarian population. These unique challenges require innovative products. Plant-meat blends using pulses are emerging as a solution to meet sustainability targets and improve nutritional profiles without compromising the familiar taste of traditional foods.

New research funded by Pulse Canada and Lentils.org shows how beef-based burger patties can be made more sustainable, nutritious and cost-effective, while maintaining palatability, by reformulating with a portion of pulses such as whole cooked lentils. The study compared the nutritional impact, environmental footprints (carbon, water and land use) and cost of lean US beef burgers compared to lean US beef burgers reformulated with 33% cooked lentil puree.

Partial replacement of lean ground beef with 33% cooked lentil puree resulted in a carbon footprint, water footprint, and land use footprint that is 33%, 33% and 32%, respectively, lower than the all-beef burger. At the same time, the reformulated burger had less calories, saturated fat and cholesterol, increased fiber, and a 26% reduction in cost per serving

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