Vegan Brand Launches ‘First-Of-Its-Kind’ Fermented Steak

Willard Rich

Swiss food tech company Planted just launched a fermented vegan steak product.

The brand described its “planted.steak” as a first-of-its-kind alternative protein: beef loin-style meat made entirely with plant-based and natural ingredients. The new product was made at a cutting-edge facility in Kemptthal, Switzerland, where “whole muscle” cuts of vegan meat are grown via fermentation.

“Our planted.steak is designed to satisfy even the most discerning palate. It’s a true game changer, not only for us but also for the whole category,” said Planted co-founder Pascal Bieri in a statement.

Planted combined soya protein, rapeseed oil, beans, rice, and a proprietary blend of microbial cultures to create what the company describes as a juicy, tender, and umami-flavored cut of plant-based meat.

Furthermore, the steak is high in protein, fiber, B12, and iron, but low in saturated fats – something that traditional beef can be particularly high in.

“No other plant-based steak on the market uses only natural ingredients, zero additives, and displays features such as juiciness as well as tenderness,” added Bieri. “We have worked with over 50 gastronomy professionals to achieve a steak that is literally unreal, in taste, texture, application, and overall eating experience.”

Planted.steak creates 97 percent fewer CO2e emissions than traditional beef

Planted Vegan steak has a far lower carbon footprint than beef

Planted has noted that its new vegan steak is not simply a culinary innovation, it is also a scalable and sustainable solution to the environmental challenges of meat production.

The fermented planted.steak is said to produce 97 percent fewer CO2e emissions per product weight than its comparable animal-derived counterpart. It also uses around 81 percent less water. One of the main obstacles facing alternative proteins is scalability, which Planted believes its proprietary fermentation and high-tech new facility can help overcome.

“Our aim is to introduce innovative products from our fermentation platform to the market fast, particularly our planted.steak, which utilizes the most advanced and disruptive fermentation technology today in terms of scalability, taste, and product quality,” explained Planted co-founder and executive board member Lukas Böni.

Last year, the Swiss innovation agency Innosuisse awarded Planted 2 million Swiss francs as part of the Swiss Accelerator Program, targeting particularly innovative small and medium-sized startups. This grant allowed Planted to launch its fermented loin steak just one year later, as well as to build the new cutting-edge facility in Kemptthal.

“We are proud to be one of the few innovators of plant-based meat that takes on all steps in the production process, from R&D to industrial production,” adds Böni. “The […] new production site allows Planted a very fast turnaround from pilot stage to industrial production, significantly closing the time gap to market launch.”

The new site has created 30 technical and operational jobs and was itself built using extensive green technology, including an eco-friendly energy system that will save over 44,000 tonnes of CO2 over the next 30 years.

Europe embraces alternative proteins

Over the last year, several European countries have promoted a transition away from animal agriculture and towards alternative proteins for a more stable and equitable food system.

The Swiss government announced the launch of its new Climate Strategy for Agriculture and Food, outlining the benefits of reduced meat consumption nationwide, while Germany unveiled a USD $41 million (€38 million) investment in the promotion of plant-based proteins.

Meanwhile, Denmark has designed a comprehensive 40-page plan to shift towards plant-based food production, which the Minister for Food described as “the future.”

Planted has yet to announce exactly when its new fermented steak will be hitting the shelves, but you can keep an eye on the brand’s online shop here.

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