Stewed meat now also has a plant-based variant
“When we started this project, we had applications for the snack market in mind,” says TOP bv product developer Justus Veenemans. “We wanted to develop a vegan substitute for Dutch sour meat. A tasty product with a long shelf life, canned, and easily prepared on a plate in the microwave.”
The project, which has been finalised in 2022, built upon TOP’s earlier work. A challenge that was faced during the process is the necessity of an intense heat treatment of the vegetal starting ingredients. It sterilises the product and grants it a long shelf life, however, this is at the expense of the product texture. The solution was found to be a specific combination of vegetal ingredients with a high heat tolerance. “Finding this combination is a trick of the trade,” says the product developer.
“We discovered that with this technology we could not only make Dutch sour meat for snack bars, but also vegan and ready-to-eat equivalents of traditional stewed meat, Indonesian beef rendang, goulash and beef bourguignon. The possibilities are endless.”
The starting ingredients of the vegan stewed meat are a combination of vegetal proteins and vegetal texturizing agents. “We add almost no fat to our products,” Veenemans concludes. “But that does not affect the flavour”.