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Food Safety Standards For Cultivated Meat, Plant-Based Food Sales Up, Mung Beans Protein And More

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Here in the UK, we are wiping away the winter weather and enjoying some spring energy. As always, it is busy in the plant-based food world, with lots of company news to share. Here we bring you a selection of some of the leading plant-based stories from newspapers, magazines, and digital platforms. If you have news for us and would like to be featured in our next round-up, please email us at [email protected]

Market Insights

European sales of plant-based food grew by 22% between 2020 and 2022, reaching a total of €5.7 million, according to the Good Food Institute Europe. Sales of plant-based meat rose to €2 billion in 2022, accounting for 6% of the overall pre-packaged meat market. Other categories, including plant-based seafood and cheese, saw double-digit growth. The category with the fastest growth was plant-based seafood.

Food Safety

The FAO and World Health Organisation have set out their recommendations for food safety standards for cultivated meat. The report was launched in early April 2023 and includes the result of an FAO-led consultation that identified potential hazards. It is the first step in a risk assessment process that will lead to the development of regulations.

New Protein

Mung beans could be more widely used to make protein, according to a report from Good Food Institute APAC. The study says mung beans are currently underused, with Asia’s plant-based protein production relying on soy, wheat and Western imports. Mung beans are less allergenic than soy and wheat and have many plant-based applications.

Fungi Fat Available 

Mycorena fungi-stabilised fat is now commercially available under the brand name Mycolein. The fat mimics animal fat in how it tastes, feels, and behaves. Mycorena collaborated with producers, including Juicy Marbles, Dalco Foods and Meeat, to perfect their product, which is intended to improve the appeal of plant-based food. Mycolein contains very little saturated fat and is a source of fibre, giving it a good nutritional profile compared to animal fat. 

Alternative Seafood

Aqua Cultured Foods has raised $5.5 million in seed funding to bring realistic seafood alternatives to market. The investment, led by Stray Dog Capital, will enable the company to equip its new facility, scale up production, and bring products to market. Aqua uses a mycoprotein fermentation process to create a range of plant-based seafood containingTuesday April 1 fibre, protein, and micronutrients. 

Lab-Grown Fat

Scientists at the Tufts University Center for Cellular Architecture (TUCCA) in Massachusetts, have made lab-grown fat tissue with similar properties to animal fat. The product could give cultured meat a more realistic taste and texture. Until now producing cultured fat has been a major challenge because of the way fat grows. The project is at the lab stage but could be scaled up and produced in bioreactors.

Egg Replacers

UK bakers are turning to egg replacements to help with supply problems. Oggs, which supplies an aquafaba egg replacement, is working with major UK bakeries to help them reduce egg usage. Lydia Stuart-Kregor, head of strategy and marketing at Oggs, told British Baker: “The cost pressures, combined with the threat of animal-borne disease, has highlighted just how inefficient and unsustainable animal-based food production is. That’s why our mission is to remove eggs from bakery products and replace them with plants.” 

JUST Egg in Barnes and Noble 

JUST Egg has announced its largest foodservice partnership, with the US’s biggest bookseller Barnes and Noble. Their JUST Egg Breakfast Sandwich will be in all 500 Barnes and Noble Cafes from 10 April, for a limited time. It is the cafes’ first plant-based sandwich and contains folded JUST Egg, melted Violife provolone and plant-based aioli on a ciabatta roll. JUST Egg is currently available at more than 3,000 restaurants and cafes throughout the U.S.

Alice Grahame
Alice Grahame is a freelance writer based in London. She’s worked for the BBC, Guardian and various NGOs. She enjoys walking, allotment gardening and trying new plant-based dishes.