Storage Stability of Plant-Based Drinks Related to Proteolysis and Generation of Free Amino Acids
The market for plant-based drinks (PBDs) is experiencing a surge in consumer demand, especially in Western societies. PBDs are a highly processed food product, and little is known about this relatively new food product category when compared to bovine milk. In the present study, the storage stability, proteolysis and generation of free amino acids were investigated in commercially available PBDs over the course of a one-year storage period. Generally, pH, color and protein solubility were found to be stable in the PBDs during storage, except for the pea-based product, which showed less protein solubility after storage. The pea-based drinks also had higher initial levels of free N-terminals prior to storage compared with levels for the other plant-based drinks, as well as significantly increasing levels of total free, and especially bitter free, amino acids. The development of free amino acids in the oat-based drink indicated that the released amino acids could be involved in various reactions such as the Maillard reaction during the storage period.