Vegetarian food brand Heritage Health Food, a family-owned company that recently acquired Worthington and Cedar Lake Foods, is going 100 percent vegan. To date, the brand has removed animal products from 17 of its 36 products—such as Chicketts, Meatless Salami Deli Slices, and Vege-Tuna Roll—under the Heritage Health Food umbrella and the remaining products are scheduled for transition this year. Key to Worthington’s efforts is plant-protein scientist Dr. James Chen, who previously led innovation with brands Morningstar Farms, Gardenburger, and Kashi, and is responsible for implementing Worthington’s new generation of plant-based meats known as High Moisture Extrusion (HME). “As consumer trends accelerate toward healthier, plant-based options, plant-powered proteins will play an increasingly larger role in our diets,” Chen told VegNews. “We’ve developed the technology and processes to create lean, plant-based, and protein-rich foods that everyone will prefer. Heritage’s goal is to migrate all of its legacy vegetarian products to be vegan by 2019 and plans to launch more vegan products geared to mainstream markets later this year.”
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