In News: Meat and seafood retailer Licious forayed into the marketing of “mock” chicken and mutton under a new ‘UnCrave’ brand.
- Many celebrities such as cricketer M S Dhoni and Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli have also invested in plant-based meat businesses.
- Actor couple Riteish and Genelia Deshmukh had founded plant-based Imagine Meats in September 2021.
- Retail sales of plant-based animal product alternatives in the US stood at $7.4 billion in 2021.
What is plant-based meat & dairy:
- “Plant-based” refers to products that bio-mimic or replicate meat, seafood, eggs, and milk derived from animals — by looking, smelling, and tasting like them.
- The variety includes mutton samosas, chicken nuggets, momos, fries, etc.
- Beyond Meat’s patties, apart from using coconut oil to copy the melty beef fat of a real hamburger, apparently even bleed as they cook — the “blood” coming from a beetroot juice-based liquid.
- Plant-based dairy products include ice-cream that isn’t simply frozen dessert that replaces milk fat with vegetable oil. Even the proteins and other solids-not-fat ingredients are sourced from plants.
- Animal meat contains protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, and water, just like plants.
- This biochemical similarity allows for finding analogues in the plant kingdom or making them through mechanical, chemical, or biological treatment of such ingredients.
- The challenge lies in replicating muscle tissue that plants don’t have.
- The unique spatial arrangement of proteins in these tissues is what creates the distinct texture of animal meat.
- That’s why plant-based mutton samosas, kebabs or keema, having a simpler texture, are easier to make than larger whole cuts of animal meat such as chicken breasts and pork chops.
- As for plant-based dairy, the main products are milk from oats, almond, soyabean, coconut, and rice. Among these, oat milk is considered the closest to regular milk in taste and texture. It is also thicker and creamier, as oats absorb more water than nuts or rice during soaking, and more of the grain gets strained for incorporation into the final product.
Scope in India – meat & milk:
- Due to India’s significant vegetarian population, plant-based meat does not see much potential in India.
- Plant-based meat can have only a niche market relevant for the top 1%.”
- Most Indians take naturally to milk, which is a classic “superior food”.
- Both milk (which includes ghee, curd, butter, ice-cream and other dairy products) and, to a lesser extent, meat (which includes fish and prawn) are superior foods — unlike cereals and sugar, whose share in the value of consumption reduces with increasing incomes, making them “inferior foods”.
- Digestive concerns like lactose intolerance aren’t very serious in India and, at any rate, pale in comparison to the perception of milk as a wholesome food.
- “Plant-based beverages cannot compete with real milk either on nutrition, taste, or affordability.
Source: Indian Express