With several companies already racing to produce the first laboratory grown alternative to meat from dead animals, another contender has joined the field.
A European project is setting up a facility that can produce 130 to 150 pounds of vegetarian meat per hour from a table-sized machine. By all accounts, these long slabs, about half an inch thick, have the juiciness and chewy consistency of real meat cutlets. But they don’t yet taste like meat cutlets, and that’s the challenge the team is currently working on, said Florian Wild, a researcher at the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV in Germany.
“Our goal is to develop a vegetable surrogate for meat that is both juicy and fibrous, but that also has a pleasant flavor,” Wild told Live Science. “The product should have a long shelf life, it should not be more expensive than meat, and be suitable for vegetarians and allergy sufferers.”
This new product is made directly from wheat, peas, lupin beans and soybeans, and does not involve growing food from animal cells.It is expected to be on sale in grocery stores within a year, and will have its first public showing at the Anuga FoodTec trade fair at the end of March in Cologne, Germany.