The brand is Slovenian and is called Juicy Marbles. It specializes in the marketing of vegan products that imitate meat. In 2022, for example, it launched a vegetable filet mignon based on soy proteins on the European market. At the end of August, it is preparing to market a vegan imitation of pork ribs. With one particularity: the bone itself will be edible.
This will be a first test, initiated on August 28, 2023. In fact, only 500 people among those pre-registered by email will be able to order their meat substitute. Once delivered, it’s up to them to test them and then give their opinion to the brand. For Juicy Marbles, this operation will be an opportunity to collect recipe suggestions, which will then be posted on their site. They also plan to ask for ideas for a name for the product. And have feedback on the packaging before a general public launch in a few months, explains The Guardian.
Soy proteins… and a bone to then put in the air fryer
On its site, Juicy Marbles explains that this imitation of pork chops (or ribs in English) has a soft, rich and hearty texture. But without being too greasy. “Each bite offers that perfect combination of crispy, melty crust and tender, juicy meat”assures the manufacturer on its site.
And to add that, like meat, “Bones are made of nutritious plant proteins, which means they can also be eaten. For a crunchy snack with more protein than jerky, you can fry them, bake them or air fry them. You can also bury them in the ground or give it to your dog to eat. »
The product is made from soy and sunflower oil for protein and taste, beetroot for coloring and a food additive, methylcellulose, for texture (a soluble fiber made from wood cellulose). .
15 minutes in the oven and voila for these vegan ribs
When it comes to cooking the ribs themselves, Juicy Marbles wanted to keep it as simple as possible. The “vegan meat” is ready to cook, as if it had already been prepared, marinated and seasoned. There’s no need to wait long hours for the pork ribs to cook gently in the oven either. In about fifteen, depending on the desired level of crispiness, these vegan ribs are ready. However, you will need to add the spices or sauce of your choice beforehand.
What about the price? If you were hoping to save money compared to classic meat, think again. These ribs will be sold for more than real pork ribs (which are generally relatively inexpensive). On the other hand, they represent a higher protein intake. With one downside: plant proteins are more complex for the body to assimilate than animal proteins.
Plant-based meat that is struggling to find its audience
Although, in theory, plant-based meat has many advantages, it faces a number of obstacles. On the one hand, the taste and texture are not always satisfactory to qualify plant-based or vegan products as perfect replicas of classic meat. On the other hand, it is often an ultra-processed product with a long list of ingredients and many additives. The ecological footprint is therefore not perfect, far from it.
A market that is still being explored even though animal meat is not losing ground among the French. Since 2013, individual meat consumption has increased by 3%. Although beef, which is very polluting and expensive, is consumed less, poultry has made significant progress over the last decade. In 2022, and for the second consecutive year, consumption is even increasing, despite inflation.
In the United States too, plant-based meat is struggling. The sale of alternative meats fell 19.8% in the first half of 2023, according to Circana. And the two best-known brands in this area, Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, are suffering. The first reduced its profit forecasts for 2023 while the second laid off 132 employees last year, including 20 scientists, engineers and researchers.
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