IITD researchers developing plant based protein rich ‘mock meat’

How about having a scrambled egg—that is not made from egg but from plant based products? Researchers in IIT Delhi in collaboration with an industry partner are bracing themselves for a launch of this protein packed product on the upcoming Industry Day on September 21.

For the last six months, the research team led by Prof Kavya Dashora of the Center for Rural Development and Technology is working towards developing plant based meats as an alternative to high protein food.

The project funded by the industry partner Four Pursuits Ventures, is looking at fleshing out the popular forms of animal based meats from various plant based sources. This will provide healthy and tasty options for health conscious, vegans, vegetarians, and weight watchers.

In India the market for ‘mock meat’ it still in its infancy with very players in the field. The meat analog market involves not only vegetarians but also non-vegetarians seeking to decrease their meat consumption for health or other reasons.

“The research aims to develop a few variants of mock egg through a non-soy raw material which are similar in taste, texture and nutrient profile with actual egg. The aim is also to provide a low cost, locally grown and processed product which supports the Make in India campaign of the Government. The raw material will be purchased from the local farmer to ensure his farm based income,” says Prof Dashora.

“At a time when the west is awakening to plant-based meats, India is unfortunately becoming the fastest growing meat markets in the world. We are looking at offering plant-based meats that look, smell and taste like meat. Once the prototype is developed we will go for commercialization. At present we have identified ten products that can be repliacted." Rahul Dewan, Chief of Operations, Four Pursuits Ventures, adds.

Most of the products will be gluten free, dairy free, non GMO, non-soy and will require minimal cooking efforts. The meat analogues which have textured proteins not only replicates the flavor and texture but they also have the nutritional content similar to that of an actual meat.