Spanish alt meat brand Heura has launched a new product that it describes as a world first — additive-free York-style plant-based ham slices.
The product has 64% protein density while being low in total and saturated fat. Through the launch, Heura hopes to attract consumers who are turning away from processed deli meats due to their link to chronic diseases such as bowel cancer. Spanish people are currently said to consume eight times more processed meat than recommended by the World Health Organization.
With their high nutrient density and lack of additives, the new slices remove two of the most common consumer objections to plant-based meats — that they are too processed and not nutritionally equivalent to animal meat.
“In the context of a health crisis, institutions and industry must play a fundamental role in leading the transition towards a healthier and more sustainable food system,” said Marc Coloma, co-founder and CEO of Heura. “Health should always come before other types of interests.”
Successors to animal meat
The new launch is the first to use the technology developed by Heura’s Good Rebel Tech division, which was first presented in April. This involves using a novel thermomechanical processing technique to create plant-based products with excellent sensory properties, improved nutritional values, and a short ingredient list. When using the technology, just protein, oil, and water are required to structure plant-based meats, with no additives necessary.
The launch comes after Heura raised over €2.6 million in just 48 hours as part of a crowdfunding campaign in May. The company said it would use the funding to achieve its goals of leading the plant-based protein market at the European level, deploying a net positive impact plan, and driving technological innovations under a new patent.
“The Heura slices are not an alternative to those of animal origin; they are their successors,” said Coloma. “We are a food tech, driven by innovation, and it is reflected in the result of our technology and specifically in the slices we present. It’s not just another reference in the industry; we assert that it marks a turning point. Our priority has always been to offer our consumers the experience of consuming animal-origin meat, in terms of taste and texture, while improving nutritional values, using high-quality ingredients, and, at the same time, protecting our planet. Good nutrition equals good health.”