Thursday, March 4, 2010


Advent of extrusion cooking technology enabled food scientists to develop meat substitutes in granule and chunk forms which resembled meat to a great extent. In India 75% of the population is vegetarian by habit, various faiths and beliefs or economic compulsions though some do consume animal foods occasionally. The development of meat analogs is supposed to be targeted at these irregular consumers and those meat eaters who can extend the meat component in the food preparations for economic reasons. The dry products from defatted soybean flour manufactured in single screw or twin screw extruders are still popular in India. How ever Chicken meat substitute developed recently in the US is yet to make its debut in India.

'This particular soy substitute is different because we are working with a higher moisture content, which is up to 75%," Hsieh said in the release. "The high moisture content is what gives the soy a very similar texture to chicken--in addition to the appearance." We have a few questions: If this product ever comes to market (Hsieh is currently refining it and doing taste tests), to whom will it appeal? Carnivores who are looking, for health reasons, for a palatable meat substitute that tastes like the real thing? Would vegetarians be interested in this at all? Will chicken noodle soup ever be the same?"

The same question regarding the target consumer is relevant for this product also. Vegetarians are unlikely to go any where near such a product that reminds them of Chicken for which they have aversion. Ultimately such products may become popular with health conscious consumers as they are rich in proteins of good quality. In a country like India such products may have better chance of success if branded differently without alluding to meat. A cheese substitute or a paneer substitute has a better chance of success than meat substitutes in the country.


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