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Fake pork dumplings at Shanghai Institute help China go beyond meat

Visitors will try Beyond Meat’s plant-based protein alternatives at the Restaurant & Bar and Gourmet Asia Expo at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center in Hong Kong on November 11, 2020.

Peter Parks | AFP | Getty Images

If a China-based business owner wants to make and sell meat-free pork dumplings over the last decade, visit a three-story restaurant laboratory in Shanghai’s commercial district to help Dr. Dong. May have asked for. -Fang Chen.

He received his PhD in Cambridge with a focus on plant molecular genetics, then worked in AstraZeneca, and now serves as Vice President of Research and Development in the Asia-Pacific region, with a group of dozens of scientists in Shanghai. I am managing it. They are part of a global research workforce of about 1,000 people in a Swiss company called Filmenich, the world’s largest private company focused on flavor and aroma development.

Chen’s team is primarily responsible for helping the global and Chinese food businesses improve the taste and texture of their products. These days, it is especially manufactured using meat and dairy alternatives. Firmenich has not disclosed a list of customers, but it does include some of the world’s largest food, fabric, cosmetology and home care businesses.

Increasing China’s focus beyond meat

China’s plant-derived protein market is getting more attention. Just this month Beyond Meat Announced Launch an online store for the Chinese market, Partnership with e-commerce platform JD.com, And plans to expand beyond China’s current retail partners Starbucks Yum China Holdings went to about 300 Chinese cities during a period when local consumers frequently bought fresh food online.

Both Beyond Meat and its major US rival, Impossible Foods, are seeing great opportunities in China and recognize that success requires more than importing successful ideas from Western cuisine. .. “I work very hard to make sure I’m not exporting American flavors.” Beyond Meat CEO Ethan Brown told CNBC Last September.

At the end of last year, Nestlé launched a brand called Harvest Gourmet, which offers not only hamburgers and nuggets other than meat, but also pork belly and Kung Pao chicken. Alibaba GroupInternet Tmall site and its Hema grocery store chain.

Nestlé and Beyond Meat have built fake meat production facilities in Tianjin and Jiaxing, respectively. Competition with local giants Jen Meet and Starfield.

Plant-based meat dishes will be served at the Starbucks Store in Shanghai, China on April 22, 2020.

VCG | Visual China Group | Getty Images

This explosion of interest in plant-based consumables is reflected throughout Asia. West Coast startups just eat Singapore regulators approve the sale of chicken substitutes developed from animal cells in the laboratory at about the same time that Thailand’s NR Instant Produce was unveiled after the success of a jackfruit-derived fake pork product. Received. Then, in June, Philippine food giant Monde Nissin was listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange. The Philippine Stock Exchange is the largest public offering in Philippine history in an attempt to expand its lineup of successful plant-based meat products.

Reproduce local favorites like pork dumplings

While many of the plant-based products are based on Western cuisine, Beyond Meat has added a new line to JD.com to serve other locally targeted culinary ingredients such as Beyond Pork and lion head meat balls. It says it will appeal to the Chinese market, including pork dumplings. The latter is a very popular dish in China, but as a research subject, Firmenich’s Chen reverse engineered dumplings because “the flavor of pork is very, very subtle and very sophisticated.” Says it is difficult.

His team has provided a wide variety of client briefs with a focus on fleshy favorites. From local ones like pork dumplings to more universal ones like chicken nuggets. They do this by understanding why the original product tastes, feels, and smells that way, then replaces meat-derived components (proteins, carbohydrates, fats) with plant-derived counterparts. After that, combine with a microscope to create the original taste and aroma.

(From left) Chef Nicholas Mare and flavorists Liliana Fabalon and Mark Rubin taste vegetarian steaks at the headquarters of the Swiss group Firmenich, one of the world’s leading flavor makers near Geneva. Firmenich advises and supplies many start-ups and food giants with the technical expertise to reproduce the taste and texture of meat.

Fabrico Flini | AFP | Getty Images

If a ready-made solution is already in place, the process can take days, but months of intensive work by a team of 12 people with different forms of expertise, including formulators, chemists, and flavorists. Investigation may be required. “This sounds easy, but it really requires a lot of science,” says Chen, who is excited about advanced techniques such as gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. “This is not a trivial matter.”

The markets in which these scientific advances serve are large. A group of Shanghai-based research scientists and chefs in Chen has tripled in size over the last decade. The process is “using modern science” by successful US startups such as Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, says Chen.

Future food for Chinese people

For Firmenich, the growing demand for meat substitutes in China and the broader Asian market has launched Singapore’s innovation hub focused on the development of new plant-based protein products. Based in Singapore, Jun Saplad, head of the company’s savory division in Asia, had its own epiphany in this sector at the 2019 Beijing conference.

“Government was a major driver of the forum,” he said, with Chinese officials, scholars and business leaders planting for countries that currently consume more than a quarter of the world’s meat supply. I explained one after another the panels that advertised the base protein. , According to USDA. “They are effectively promoting future food for the Chinese people,” Saprado said.

Thanks to the accelerating urbanization and the growth of the middle class, with rising levels of income and consumption, Asia is, of course, one of the fastest growing regions in the world of packaged foods. “There are 4.7 billion mouths in Asia,” Saprad said. “This is 60% of the world’s population, with nearly 3 billion people in China and India alone.”

Saplad estimates that the Asian portion of the meat substitute market is currently worth only about $ 1 billion, but young demographics have raised awareness of the climate implications of cooking choices within the next period. He predicts that it could grow five times. Ten years.

Saplad also believes that Chinese companies have the potential to become major suppliers of plant-based meat substitutes in other parts of the world, including the United States and Europe. “In reality, we see companies investing in China for domestic consumption and exports in China and large global companies,” he said.

Fake pork dumplings at Shanghai Institute help China go beyond meat

Source link Fake pork dumplings at Shanghai Institute help China go beyond meat

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