Recently meat and seafood retailer Licious forayed into the marketing of “mock” chicken and mutton under a new ‘UnCrave’ brand.

 

What is ‘plant-based meat’?

  • 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.
  • Plant-based dairy products include ice-cream that is not simply frozen dessert that replaces milk fat with vegetable oil.
  • Even the proteins and other solids-not-fat ingredients are sourced from plants.
  • 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.

 

How are these made?

  • 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 do not 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.