Alt Meat startup reveals the importance of technology as it celebrates largest fundraising ever

The vegetarian meat sector in Europe appears in poor health. Retail sales in Western Europe rose 19% to €2.4 billion in 2021, according to annual state-of-the-industry reports from the NGO Good Food Institute. That outperforms North America, where sales last year held steady in value at $1.4 billion (€1.3 billion).

But when the United States sneezes, Europe catches a cold. GFI further acknowledges that capturing a tiny portion of the global meat market – estimated in 2020 at 328 million tons and valued at more than $1 trillion – presents a “tremendous opportunity”.

Those companies looking to sell products based on plant proteins need to choose their strategy very carefully and among all the strategic choices “The biggest problem is the category of meat substitutes,” warned Julian Melentin, director of New Nutrition Business. He told the food advisory podcast that the meat alternatives category will only begin to realize its ambition to create real disruption in the meat industry when ingredient suppliers and product developers can offer products “Actually met human expectations of good taste, good texture and a reasonably short ingredient list.”

Technology – particularly High Moisture Extrusion (HME) – is one of the key areas for producing more realistic meat replicas.

Whereas the traditionally used Low Moisture Extruder delivers a fibrous, spongy texture and a shelf-stable product that needs rehydration, HME offers a more fibrous, flake, and meaty product that must be refrigerated or frozen.

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