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Source: Oklahoma Farm Report

Recent research indicates consumers overwhelmingly prefer beef hamburgers over plant-based alternatives.

Dr. Travis O'Quinn, meat scientist and Associate Professor in the Department of Animal Science and Industry at Kansas State University, conducted the scientific study.

He studied the difference's consumers see in ground beef and plant-based substitutes.

Over the last several years we've seen more of these plant-based protein substitutes on the market, O'Quinn said.

Our overall goal was to compare these products with ground beef in three different fat levels, he said, just as you would find in the grocery store, he said.

Most importantly for us is how does that product eat, he said. We've seen a lot of claims that these products eat similar to ground beef.

Tenderness, juiciness and flavor were some of the traits O'Quinn and his research team were looking at.

The results were pretty stark, he noted.

Our three ground beef products were highly desirable by consumers, he said.

Every one of the alternatives had a tendency to fall out, specifically in juiciness and flavor, O'Quinn said.

The K-State scientist said consumers did not like the flavor.

When we looked at the 100-point scale, many of them were well below 30 percent on how much they liked the product (plant-based) overall, he said.

When you couple that with the question of how likely you are to purchase the product, it ranged from 30 percent to just 18 percent, he said.

There were no flavorings or seasonings added, just the bare product.

We did this in the same manner as we would do any of our sensory testing, O'Quinn said.

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