German ingredients manufacturer BENEO has unveiled two new semi-finished plant-based products for beef alternatives: Beef Bites and Minced Meat.
The semi-finished products, which are easy-to-process inputs that have undergone some processing, offer manufacturers an easy solution to create “juicy and meaty” alternatives to beef. They have been developed with a blend of pea and mycoprotein by Meatless BV, a Dutch producer of texturized plant proteins that was acquired by BENEO in 2022.
The new range will launch at the beginning of 2024; however, the company is offering Fi Europe 2023(currently ongoing) participants the opportunity to taste the products in plant-based dishes prepared by Culinary Chef Jelbrich Hendrickx from the BENEO-Technology Center.
Niels E. Hower of BENEO’s Executive Board shared: “Due to the high consumer interest, we made the decision to expand our range of cost-effective plant-based solutions to also include beef alternatives which can easily be integrated into existing production processes. The alternatives market is largely focused on replacing chicken or processed applications like hamburgers and meatballs. So, the addition of Meatless® Beef Bites and Minced Meat products offers manufacturers an even broader spectrum of choice.”
New plant-based beef dishes
According to BENEO, expanding its semi-finished portfolio into the beef segment responds to growing consumer interest in sustainable alternatives to this type of meat. The Meatless Beef Bites are said to be ideal for stir-fries and stews, and the Meatless Minced Meat for lasagna, marinades, and sauces.
Both products, enhanced with coloring to provide a beef-like appearance, are crafted using pea proteins and mycoproteins — known for their high nutritional value and meat-like texture. They offer advantages such as high heat stability and water-holding capacity, even when baked or fried. Additionally, their fatty and succulent texture allows for reduced fat content in the final products.
Furthermore, BENEO boasts a low-energy processing technology that transfers more sustainable credentials to its semi-finished plant-based products portfolio. The company, which aims to become a leader in plant-based protein solutions, invested €50 million in 2022 to install a fava bean plant in Germany to meet the growing demand for sustainable plant-based proteins.
“In a world with a growing population, efficient food production is not just a necessity for food security and environmental protection; it’s also an economic imperative. We’re excited to be at the forefront of new plant-based developments,” adds Hower.