This week, a big announcement was made in the alternative protein space: Eat Just announced that it partnered with Qatar Free Zones Authority (QFZA) to build a cultured meat facility in the Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA) region. The region is soon set to become the second in the world to grant regulatory approval for the sale of cultured meat.
In addition to this news, we found some other interesting pieces, including Shiok Meats’ recent unveil, Nature Fynd’s retail launch, a study on the scent of plant-based burgers, and a new plant-based milk made from groundnuts.
Shiok Meats showcases the world’s first cultured crab meat
Shiok Meats, a cultured seafood company, unveiled its most recent product at a private tasting event in Singapore: cultured crab meat. The alternative seafood product was served in two dishes, including crab cakes and chilli crab. Additionally, the company’s other cultured seafood was featured in lobster-flavored potato chips and tom yum shrimp soup. Shiok Meats is currently building a cultured seafood manufacturing plant in Singapore, and has the goal of bringing its products to market by 2023.
Nature’s Fynd launches two new products in first retailer location
Nature’s Fynd applies a fermentation process to Fusarium strain flavolapis, a microbe found in the geothermal pools of Yellowstone National Park, to craft its proprietary Fy Protein. Using Fy Protein and other plant-based ingredients like coconut oil and soy protein, the company launched plant-based breakfast patties and cream cheese earlier this year. This week, the company announced that it has released new flavors of its original products: maple-flavored meatless breakfast patties and dairy-free chive and onion cream cheese.
The first products from Nature’s Fynd were only available on its website, but as of September 1st, the plant-based alternatives can now be purchased at Berkely Bowl in Berkely, California. In the promotional email sent out, Nature’s Fynd disclosed that they will be bringing their products to more stores by the end of the year.
An alternative milk made from groundnuts launches in Singapore
WhatIF Foods, a Singapore-based food tech company, recently launched a new alternative milk called BamNut Milk made from Bambara groundnuts, coconut oil, and shea butter. Bambara groundnuts, native to West Africa, contain 20 percent protein and the crop is resistant to extreme heat and dry weather conditions. The plant-based milk has no added sugars, and one serving boasts 7 grams of protein. One carton costs $5.99, and the product is currently only available for Singapore residents.
Study analyzes which plant-based burger smells the most like a beef burger
A chemistry professor at Eastern Kentucky University, LiLi Zyzak, led a project that studied which plant-based burgers had the closest scent to traditional beef burgers. Cooking a burger, specifically raw hamburger meat, releases volatile compounds that can be challenging to recreate in plant-based alternatives. In the study, eight of the leading brands of plant-based burgers were cooked up. Zyzak and her colleagues identified compounds being released from the cooking burgers through gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The best smelling burger went to Beyond Meat’s pea protein burger patty, with Nestlé’s Awesome Burger coming in second.
The USDA wants to know what people think about cell-based meat
The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced it had opened a 60 day period in which it will solicit comments to questions put forth in an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR). The move is significant because it signals that the US government is getting serious about developing a regulatory framework for an industry that has changed significantly since the USDA and the FDA first announced they were looking into meat created by cellular agriculture.