In September, Chinese supermarkets will begin selling China’s first mooncake stuffed with plant-based meat, according to Chongqing Morning Post. The vegan meat filling for the mooncakes—a traditional Chinese pastry eaten during the Mid-Autumn Festival—is produced by Chinese startup Starfield and was developed with help from researchers at Beijing Technology and Business University. Researcher Li Jian explains that the goal in developing the plant-based meat filling was to mimic five components of animal-based meat: color, smell, taste, texture, and sound—an element he believes is important to Chinese consumers. “When we stir-fry sliced meat or deep-fry fish, the meat will produce an appetizing crackling sound,” Jian said. “This sound is what we want to achieve with our [meat alternative], together with the other aspects.” According to an online poll conducted by social network Weibo Technology, 34.4 percent of respondents indicated they would try Starfield’s new plant-based mooncake, which will initially debut in retailers in Shenzhen in Guangdong province. In addition to the mooncakes, Starfield will test a plant-based burger at a restaurant in Shenzhen in September at a price of 28 yuan ($3.98) before debuting an improved version of the burger in December.
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