Methods for improving meat protein digestibility in older adults
This review explores the factors that improve meat protein digestibility and applies the findings to the development of home meal replacements with improved protein digestion rates in older adults. Various methods improve the digestion rate of proteins, such as heat, ultrasound, high pressure, or pulse electric field. In addition, probiotics aid in protein digestion by improving the function of digestive organs and secreting enzymes. Plant-derived proteases, such as papain, bromelain, ficin, actinidin, or zingibain, can also improve the protein digestion rate; however, the digestion rate is dependent on the plant enzyme used and protein characteristics. Sous vide processing improves the rate and extent of protein digestibility, but the protein digestion rate decreases with increasing temperature and heating time. Ultrasound, high pressure, or pulsed electric field treatments degrade the protein structure and increase the proteolytic enzyme contact area to improve the protein digestion rate.