Finland makes plant-based meat attractive, with science
VTT, one of Europe’s leading research institutes, has developed a breakthrough scientific approach that could bring sustainable, authentic meat alternatives to carnivores and flexitarians around the globe.
“We use cellular-agriculture-based techniques combined with our long-term expertise working with challenging, plant-based raw materials to transform nutritious, local crops into delicious foodstuffs that offer an identical sensory experience to animal-based meat," said Nesli Sözer, Research Professor at VTT. "Our innovation toolkit allows producers to perfectly recreate the sizzling fat and juicy tenderness of meat like never before."
Meat is a major source of emissions, and meat production tends to be overly centralized and vulnerable to supply chain disruptions. A new, sustainable food system requires a dietary shift towards plant-based proteins.
“To solve these challenges, we need plant-based meat that can genuinely satiate demand and that can be scaled in a way that improves food security and nutrition for all”, explained Sözer.
“Consumer acceptance has a key role in the development of feasible business around plant-based protein ingredients for meat alternatives," continued Sözer. "It’s not enough for something to look like meat. We need nutritional and healthy foods that are indistinguishable from animal-based meat in every way, that allows people everywhere to enjoy the experience of meat, without the guilt."
Although the meat alternatives industry has grown rapidly in previous years, there is still a long journey ahead before plant-based meat can truly gain a foothold the market.
As global demand for meat continues to skyrocket, VTT stands ready to collaborate with food and raw-material producers to accelerate alternative meat innovations and empower them to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to scale, nutrition, and sustainability.
VTT aims at tackling the world’s biggest challenges. Plant-based food, cellular agriculture and agile manufacturing are key areas that can contribute to providing new opportunities for sustainable food systems.
“By combining our experience in plant-based ingredients, food design and cellular agriculture, we can create proof-of-concept of prototypes for tasty, identical meat alternatives that are ready to be scaled up for industrial production. By supporting companies to develop sustainable production processes and products that have broad customer appeal, we can also work together towards a future that is free from food crises,” Sözer concluded.
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