In recent years, with the rise of vegetarianism and environmentalism, “artificial meat” advertised as high-protein, low-fat, low-cholesterol, energy-saving and environmentally friendly is quietly entering people’s lives, becoming synonymous with healthy and environmentally friendly food in the eyes of many people.
KFC launched plant-based meat products and launched them in 6 cities in China; Starbucks launched a “plant-based meat” lunch menu; American pizza brand Papa John’s also launched its first plant-based pizza in China; Dicos launched a new plant-based chicken burger…
Today, when Internet celebrity products are frequently released, the artificial meat market is advancing and becoming more and more popular. So, are you going to try artificial meat?
In April 2020, KFC China announced the launch of a chicken-flavored vegetable protein product “plant-cultured golden chicken nuggets”, which also made KFC one of the first western fast food brands to adopt vegetable protein products in the Chinese market.
Starbucks followed closely, cooperating with Beyond Meat to launch three “vegetable beef” products, and cooperating with OmniPork to launch two “vegetable pork” products.
HEYTEA also announced the launch of plant-based burgers. Wan Chai Wharf launched the world’s first plant-meat dumplings. The series includes two new flavors: “Red Cabbage Corn New Pork Dumplings” and “Black Pepper Mushroom New Pork Dumplings”.
Food companies such as Shineway and Cargill have also begun to deploy plant meat business, or acquire equity in related fields, launch their own brands, or develop supply chain cooperation.
In fact, artificial meat products were only a niche concept before May 2019, and there were many wait-and-sees in the industry. One of the important reasons that really detonated the industry was the listing of Beyond Meat.
In May 2019, Beyond Meat, led by Bill Gates, was listed on the Nasdaq in the United States, and it soared by 163% on the first day. It performed very well and was called the “first share of artificial meat.”
After the company went public, it greatly encouraged industry investors and entrepreneurs. During this period, many companies began to enter the market, and China’s artificial meat market also ushered in new development. Statistics show that since 2019, domestic artificial meat companies have increased rapidly, and the number of companies is no less than 2,000.
Xue Yan, secretary-general of the China Plant Food Industry Alliance, told China News Weekly that, conceptually, artificial meat can be basically divided into “plant meat” and “cell meat”. Cellular meat refers to extracting cells from animals and simulating cell growth. The environment makes it grow into meat naturally in a laboratory environment. This production method is currently too costly, so it has not been widely promoted in the market.
At present, most of the main artificial meat companies are concentrated in plant meat, including Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods. Domestic start-up artificial meat companies are also mainly in the direction of plant meat. According to the artificial meat production process disclosed by Beyond Meat, its raw materials are mainly from yellow peas. Beyond Meat separates protein and fiber through natural processes, and then weaves the protein into a fibrous structure through a series of methods such as heating, pressure changes, and freezing to produce artificial meat. Meat.
Take the process of making peas “meat” stuffing as an example. First, protein powder is extracted from peas, and then structurally modified by physical means. In the form of heating, cooling, and squeezing, the protein powder is made into vegetable protein with high water retention and high oil retention, so that it can obtain a chewiness similar to meat and a similar water content. Finally, vegetable oils are added to give it fat and fragrance, and finally seasoning and toning to make vegetable meat fillings.
“Therefore, the artificial meat that many people are currently talking about is actually plant meat.”