by Meera Pattni
Retail giant Tesco launched a ‘groundbreaking’ plant-based product which is barely distinguishable from real steak’ in 400 stores across the United Kingdom.
While many companies that produce vegetarian meat make use of a fibrous manufacturing process, Vivera makes use of different technology, achieving its steak-like texture through a secret mix of ingredients and processing.
“Technology is becoming a real driving force for food manufacture,” said food nutritionist Emma Wight-Boycot. “This means that machinery and processes for manufacturing are less invasive to the ingredients, with a better and less processed end product.”
“For example, heat can be more precisely controlled these days, reducing toxic
chemicals forming from some ingredients. Various combinations of vegetables can also be mixed better without the use of as many binders and fillers as previously used.”
Not everyone in the target market is convinced though, believing it may be too
processed, or simply because they’re not that interested in steak.
“For me, steak doesn’t look appealing, and I’ve never been curious to see what it tastes like, I wouldn’t try it in a hurry,” says Jaspreet Panesart, who’s been a vegetarian all her life.
An increasing number of new meat-free innovations are emerging to meet changing
diets – with the number of vegans in the UK increasing fourfold in the last ten years.
At the start of this year, supermarkets reported a sale of vegan foods, in line with the promotional “Veganuary”, which asks consumers to give up animal products for the month.
Emma says the future lies in marrying health with technology: “Product development can be more reactive and manufacturers are able to make changes more readily without risking margins. I like to think that fast food can become healthier by the advancements in technology.”
Featured Image by Vivera