A plant-based source of protein that looks and tastes like real meat has been launched in Sydney by a new company with ambitious plans to break into international markets.
V2 a partnership between the CSIRO, Main Sequence Ventures and Competitive Foods Australia, has produced a range of meat-like products which were trialled successfully at its launch party, fooling the most dedicated meat lovers.
“My husband and I are committed carnivores and I can’t tell the difference between this and a real hotdog,” said Minister for Science and Industry Karen Andrews who heralded the company’s successful growth. “It’s just phenomenal.”
Minister Andrews said that by 2030 the new plant-based alternative industry is expected to be worth $6 billion to Australia.
“That’s 50% of what the space industry is expected to generate,” she said.
Andrews said that the demand for protein with plant-based meat alternatives also presented wonderful opportunities for international trade.
“If you look at our nearest neighbours they are predominantly vegetarian in their diets,” she said.
Andrews said there was room for both meat and plant-based meat-like products to provide consumers with choice and that the food manufacturing sector would support cattle farmers as demand for meat outstrips supply.
The CSIRO’s Deputy Director for Agriculture and Food, Martin Cole agreed that the newly created food provides Australia with access to a massive market which will compliment the trillion-dollar global meat industry in the decades to come.
“By 2050, the world’s demand for protein will double,” he said. “We’ve almost got to make a second trillion-dollar protein industry to look after the health of people and the planet,” he said.
She said there was room for both meat and plant-based meat-like products to provide consumers with choice.
The research scientists at the CSIRO helped to create the texture of the plant-based product by manipulating the protein structure to provide it with its chewable texture.
“It looks like meat, it cooks like meat and it tastes like meat,” he said.
CSIRO provided its expertise to v2 food receiving equity in the new company in return for its research. The company was launched in just 8 months as part of the Australian Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA) in 2018.
Founder and v2 CEO Nick Hazell said that the company’s ‘mince,’ is made from legumes and contains added fibre and other nutrients. Currently, there is not enough legumes in Australia to meet v2 manufacturing demands.
“This provides a big opportunity for existing meat and grain producers,” he said.
“Making meat alternatives from plants is not a new idea, but at v2food, we’ve taken it a step further. We are on a journey to make plant-based food both taste better and be more sustainable. The protein substitutes, available to date, simply don’t taste as good as meat and they are not affordable.”
v2food will begin to appear in restaurants and cafes throughout the remainder of the year and could be in stores and cafes as early as 2020.