Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) announced that at the end of the year, it will launch a startup to produce plant-based whole cuts using a novel texturizing technology developed by the Department of Industrial Technology (DoIT). Samples of the new plant-based meat were showcased at BIO Asia-Taiwan 2023, reports Taiwan News.
The breakthrough process mimics the texture of meat by introducing a multi-directional fiber structure that can recreate the muscle consistency of beef, pork, chicken, and fish without using additives or artificial ingredients. Furthermore, it uses soy and wheat protein, which have complete essential amino acids and higher protein content, to offer a full nutrition product different from the traditional texturized vegetable protein, explains MOEA.
The process had been tested at scale, proving its commercial viability. It will become an advantage for Taiwan as it competes in the global plant-meat market. The new spin-off company will further develop the technology to introduce new products.
According to MOEA, the market for plant-based meat products is projected to expand significantly in the coming years, with an estimated value of US$27.9 billion by 2025. Around 80% of plant-based meat products from Taiwan are exported, indicating that Taiwan has successfully established its presence in the global plant-based meat industry. For example, the Taiwanese plant-based producer Vegefarm exports to the European and Middle Eastern alt meat markets. In Taiwan, the brand produces and supplies more than 300 kinds of vegetarian and vegan products.
Grassroots movements have been advocating for plant-based diets in Taiwan. And they have been effective. At the end of 2022, Taiwan’s Meat-Free Monday organization announced it succeeded in inviting over 100 political candidates for Taiwan’s 2022 election to sign its Veg-Friendly pledge. And in January, the country approved a groundbreaking climate bill requiring its government to promote low-carbon diets, referring to plant-based foods.