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Unilever Joins Plant Meat Matters Consortium

The corporation will work with The Vegetarian Butcher, amongst others, to advance the development of plant-based steak.

Food development project Plant Meat Matters (PMM) welcomed several new partners to its consortium—including multinational food corporation Unilever, ingredient suppliers Avril and Ingredion, and flavor specialists Givaudan. The project is spearheaded by researchers at Wageningen University who are working to develop a plant-based alternative to steak. The first iteration of PMM’s product was unveiled at Netherlands-based meat alternative company The Vegetarian Butcher’s “Plant-Based Plant” facility in 2015. PMM has since partnered with eight companies in a variety of industries to bring its plant-based steak—made using “sheer cell technology” with protein sources such as pea, soy, wheat, and lupin—to consumers by 2019. All new partners will be working in concert to create the plant-based steak, and Unilever will co-brand the product with The Vegetarian Butcher under its Dutch Unox brand. “We are proud to have such a broad consortium that covers the full production chain,” Wageningen University professor Atze Jan van der Goot told FoodNavigator. “It makes this project very powerful, in our opinion.” According to van der Goot, this innovative protein will complement existing plant-based meats available through companies such as Impossible Foods. PMM researchers have made their work public in order to inspire other food scientists to develop meat alternatives to feed the growing world population.

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