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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    Soy-based Tuna and Vegan Lamb

    Making Faux Meat Taste Like the Real Thing

    Givaudan is one of the companies tapping into the growing interest in alternative proteins.

    By Corinne Gretler
    and Agnieszka de Sousa
    July 15, 2020, 11:01 AM GMT+7

    In a sun-filled room of Givaudan SA’s Innovation Center, a four-story brick building in the gentle hills east of Zurich, dozens of white containers are stacked in neat rows. While they have labels such as “bacon,” “fried fat,” and “pork lard,” what’s inside is made of extracts of foods such as herbs, garlic, and onion, or enzymes and amino acids from cooking—and not a molecule of animal protein.

    The flavorings are aimed at the growing business of meat alternatives from newcomers such as Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods and at industry stalwarts like Nestlé, Perdue, Smithfield, and Tyson. Increasing sales of those products is a huge opportunity for the likes of Givaudan, which can help turn insipid, mealy concoctions into something consumers crave. The Swiss company and rival producers of flavors and fragrances for innumerable consumer products—from liquor to lotion to laundry detergent—are carving out a niche in making vegan foods more appealing and nutritious. “Everyone wants in, whether it’s some defense or a desire to disrupt,” says Louie D’Amico, president of Givaudan’s flavor division. “We help companies make their products taste better.”



    Givaudan’s innovation center in Kemptthal, Switzerland.
    PHOTOGRAPHER: STEFAN WERMUTH/BLOOMBERG

    Analysts predict meat alternatives could make up some 10% of the global meat market in the next decade, and Givaudan, founded in 1895 as a fragrance maker, aims to profit from that growth. The company has a pool of more than 3,000 ingredients it uses to create hundreds of thousands of flavorings such as elderflower, leek, or grape-jasmine. While it’s the biggest player, Givaudan faces increasing competition from the likes of Switzerland’s Firmenich, Germany’s Symrise, and New York-based International Flavors & Fragrances, which have been beefing up their research capabilities and buying smaller players to better understand various proteins and how to make them tastier and healthier. Crop processing giant Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. joined the fight in 2014 when it acquired Germany’s Wild Flavors, and it now helps produce the soy-based Rebel Whopper for Burger King in Brazil.



    A chef at Givaudan prepares a salad nicoise with plant-based vegan tuna.
    PHOTOGRAPHER: STEFAN WERMUTH/BLOOMBERG

    Startups are jumping in as well, with venture capital funding for companies making newfangled food ingredients up sixfold in the past three years, to more than $700 million in 2019, according to researcher PitchBook. Thai Union Group has invested in Flying Spark, an Israeli company that makes protein from fruit fly larvae. In April, San Francisco’s Prefix Capital invested in Manus Bio, which uses fermentation to create sweeteners and other natural ingredients. And Boston-based Motif FoodWorks Inc. has raised more than $115 million to create alternative proteins and ingredients. Such companies can help make “plant-based or blended products with better taste, texture, and nutrition,” says Rosie Wardle, investment associate at CPT Capital, a London venture capital fund that’s backed Motif and more than 30 other alternative protein companies.

    “Everyone wants in, whether it’s some defense or a desire to disrupt”

    With some 15,000 employees worldwide, a $500 million-plus annual research budget, and manufacturing facilities in more than 30 countries, Givaudan remains the giant in the field. The company last year opened its Innovation Center, where chemists work on seasonings, scents, and additives. The building is surprisingly odor-free for a place where flavors and aromas are developed. In one room, washing machines churn laundry to test fragrances for detergents. In another, perfume ideas are concocted in domed glass containers and test tubes, with their chemical formulas scribbled across sliding glass windows. In a third, flavors for candies and drinks are sorted in see-through packets or glass bottles, with labels such as pear-vanilla and cola-mandarin. In a test kitchen on the ground floor, chefs cook up samples for visitors and customers—effectively every big foodmaker you’ve ever heard of, though neither Givaudan nor most clients are willing to disclose the relationships. For lunch on a sunny Friday, they’re serving mushroom and quinoa balls with a distinct smoky taste, a soy-based tuna replacement, and a vegan lamb shawarma.

    A key initiative is helping make plant-based meats more palatable, especially in terms of texture. While Givaudan scientists have a suite of flavors that generally work—getting rid of bitter aftertastes common to plant protein, adding grill notes, or boosting umami—the biggest goals are nutrition and approximating the mouthfeel of meat: “How are things released, what do color and texture have to do with it, and how do you mirror that?” D’Amico says.

    Venture capital funding in 2019 for startups making innovative food ingredients: $700 million
    To boost its understanding of the field, Givaudan has teamed up with Plant Meat Matters, a group of food industry giants led by scholars at Wageningen University & Research in the Netherlands that studies the appearance, taste, and texture of plant proteins. With students at the University of California at Berkeley, Givaudan is seeking better ways to produce plant-based products. The company has tie-ups with dozens of startups to help them develop tastier foods while bolstering its own expertise in the field. In November it joined with Israeli startup Innovopro to study chickpeas as a base for products such as vegan mayonnaise, puddings, and ice creams. Since May it’s been working with a California company called Terviva to create meat alternatives extracted from pongamia, a tree native to Southeast Asia. And in June it said it’s helping Israel’s Redefine Meat—which uses 3D printers to lay down ersatz meat mixture—to create a product it says will be indistinguishable from a cut of beef carved from a steer.

    Givaudan in October introduced a technology it says can replicate the juiciness of meat. Vegan patties tend to dry out in the pan because vegetable oils burn off faster than those in animal protein, but the Givaudan offering encapsulates plant fat in a matrix of starch so it acts like cells in meat. The company says the product provides the mouthfeel of meat while cutting fat content by 75% and reducing calories by 30%. That’s important because there’s growing concern about the nutritional value of meat alternatives. While consumers initially assumed meatless foods were inherently healthier, they’re now balking at the fat and sodium content, which is often higher than the levels in meat. “People look at that now and say, ‘Wow, that’s a problem,’ ” D’Amico says. “There’s still a way to go with flavor and taste, and the next challenge is helping with the nutritional profile.”



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  2. #2
    Thailand Expat

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    what about a FANNY that taste's like beef.

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    ...^so, waiting for your caregiver to arrive then...

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    I'm really quite curious to try some of this 'Beyond Meat' stuff or whatever it's called for myself.

    I've heard some mixed reports so there's really only one way to find out.

  5. #5
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    ...^Beyond Meat is available at a small supermarket in Siam Icon...I haven't seen it anywhere else...or on a menu...

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    I'll have to have a look for it up here (CNX), there are a few specialty stores that may have it.

    If it lives up to the rep I'd see no harm in switching over.

  7. #7
    Thailand Expat lom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by headhunter View Post
    what about a FANNY that taste's like beef.
    There's a business opportunity for the opposite..

  8. #8
    Hansum Man! panama hat's Avatar
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    Thankfully we haven't had the Neanderthals on et who go on about vegetarian/vegans and 'faux' meat etc...

    It's catered to a specific market and will satisfy others as well - nothing about being a meat-substitute in terms of Vegs wanting meat

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by AntRobertson View Post
    I'm really quite curious to try some of this 'Beyond Meat' stuff or whatever it's called for myself.

    I've heard some mixed reports so there's really only one way to find out.
    Soylent Green.?

  10. #10
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmart
    Soylent Green.?
    Tastes like chicken.

  11. #11
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    docmartin's Avatar
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    Fake meat might avoid animal cruelty but it’s presumably highly processed and possibly not real good for ya.

  12. #12
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    ^That is true, and it is usually high in carbs and fillers. I tried the beyond meat hamburger at a burger chain in town it was pretty good. I looked at the nutritional label on the internet and it was seriously high in carbs/sugar/sodium etc. It was good mind you.

  13. #13
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarilynMonroe
    I looked at the nutritional label on the internet and it was seriously high in carbs/sugar/sodium etc. It was good mind you.
    Try looking again:



    270 calories strikes me as quite high but there is nothing inherently unhealthy about it (or carbs for that matter).

  14. #14
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    There are many types of vegetarian beyond meat burgers.. you can buy some at grocery/health stores and then the ones you get at fast food restaurants.. all could be different.
    This is the one I was referring too.. I try not to eat canola oil and other things I can't pronounce. Also very high in Carbs even the lettuce wrapped one which I had. 10 grams is a bit high for me.
    A&W Canada

  15. #15
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    ...^there is nothing in either of those lists of ingredients that strikes me as "yum"...I think a lot more work needs to be done with far fewer synthesized taste enhancers, laboratory additives and bottom-of-the-cage fillers...

  16. #16
    Hangin' Around cyrille's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AntRobertson View Post
    I'll have to have a look for it up here (CNX), there are a few specialty stores that may have it.

    If it lives up to the rep I'd see no harm in switching over.
    Not least because tuna has got pricey.

    A 500 calorie A+W burger on the other hand...

    PB at the very forefront of cluelessness yet again.


  17. #17
    Thailand Expat
    aging one's Avatar
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    I would like to know if this is a healthy low calorie meal?

    Quote Originally Posted by MarilynMonroe View Post
    Made shrimps in garlic butter smothered in mozerella cheese with a huge caesar salad for lunch.
    I know I would get a few more kilometers in on a run if I had that for lunch or dinner.

  18. #18
    Hangin' Around cyrille's Avatar
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    Take a look at the ingredients in that A+W burger she was drooling over.

    They look like what might be in that radioactive pond round by her place.


  19. #19
    Thailand Expat TheRealKW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarilynMonroe View Post
    I try not to eat canola oil and other things I can't pronounce.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomcat View Post
    ...^there is nothing in either of those lists of ingredients that strikes me as "yum"...I think a lot more work needs to be done with far fewer synthesized taste enhancers, laboratory additives and bottom-of-the-cage fillers...
    well it tasted yum, that's for sure, but as I said, after seeing the carb count and ingredients, it will be a rare treat. Besides, I make my own amazing burger now with bacon, cheese and bbq sauce.. right now it is all about eating fat , low carb, moderate protein. Read up on Keto.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by AntRobertson View Post
    If it lives up to the rep I'd see no harm in switching over.
    For me it first needs to drop in price below meat. What's the point in something expensive when the aim is supposed to be feeding the masses that can not afford meat?

  22. #22
    Hangin' Around cyrille's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Takeovers View Post
    For me it first needs to drop in price below meat. What's the point in something expensive when the aim is supposed to be feeding the masses that can not afford meat?
    Well, that isn't what the aim is supposed to be.

    Certainly not at the end of the market being talked about here.

    It's supposed to be about cutting out the massive waste of resources that go into meat.

  23. #23
    Hangin' Around cyrille's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarilynMonroe View Post
    Read up on Keto.
    Yeah, that's the problem.

    Your audience isn't sufficiently informed.


  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyrille View Post
    It's supposed to be about cutting out the massive waste of resources that go into meat.
    Cutting waste of resources is supposed to reduce cost. As long as it does not it remains a niche product for a special needs clientele.

  25. #25
    Hangin' Around cyrille's Avatar
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    Correct.

    Like just about every new way of doing something ever.

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