Consumers Strongly Advised To Read List Of Ingredients For Meat Alternatives

Friday, October 20th, 2017 | 809 Views

Consumers are advised to study the list of ingredients of meat and alternatives so as to reduce risk of confusion, according to TÜV SÜD—testing, certification, inspection and training provider.


Consumers Strongly Advised To Read List Of Ingredients For Meat Alternatives Modern menus may list vegan or vegetarian steaks, sausages or cold cuts. For some consumers, these plant-based meat analogues are welcome options for enjoying meat-like meals, either permanently or occasionally.

In Germany, while the law clearly defines which ingredients are allowed or not allowed in sausages made from turkey, there are no such regulations when it comes to vegan turkey breast.

“The established principles of the German Food Code, including the relevant characteristics for quality and ingredients, have applied to conventional meat and sausage products for years. However, no such principles have been defined so far for meatless substitutes,” said Dr Andreas Daxenberger, food expert at TÜV SÜD.

According to TÜV SÜD, manufacturers of faux meats are creative when it comes to producing a wide range of ‘meats’ and ‘sausages’, sometimes remarkably similar to the original meat products in colour, texture and shape. However, the various substitutes differ not only in their ingredients, but also in their constituent substances, production processes and flavouring additives.

These raw materials are free from lactose, gluten and cholesterol. The nutrient contents of the raw materials in this category—such as lupin seeds and soybeans—are similar.

The ingredients in meat analogue products thus may differ largely. As such, it may be worthwhile to take a close look at the list of ingredients. After all, the same applies to faux meats as to all other raw products that have little taste of their own: the more a product is processed, the longer its list of ingredients—including binders, flavour enhancers, colourants and flavourings.

In June 2017, the European Court of Justice ruled that the terms ‘milk’, ‘cheese‘, ‘butter‘ and ‘yoghurt‘ may only be used for food products made of milk from animal origin. According to the court, the use of these terms for other plant-based substances would pose a risk of confusion for consumers. Given this, the terms ‘steak’, ‘escalope’ and ‘sausage’ can be applied to products of both animal and plant origin.

In light of the above, consumers have no choice but to study the list of ingredients of meat and faux meat products. After all, the product name on the front gives no indication as to whether the product actually contains the expected or requested ingredients.

For allergy sufferers, for instance, the fact whether a product includes ingredients such as soy, egg white, cereal, celery or lupins may be important, as these are some of the main triggers of allergies. Given this, they are subject to specific regulations of the food information regulation and require specific labelling.


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