KindEarth.Tech’ s Alternative Protein & FoodTech Show
I am truly grateful to be a part of the Alternative Protein & FoodTech Show organised by KindEarth.Tech (KET), Shiok Meats and SciGlo. It is an honour to connect with industry leaders who are at the forefront of food innovation, transforming the global food ecosystem. I am so happy to attend an in-person event where industry players across the food value chain exchanged ideas and unlocked the potential of alternative proteins in building a sustainable future for food. I have gained a lot of insights about what we can do to catalyse the improvement of our food system. It was great to see companies across all three pillars of protein substitutes work together to make sustainable meat substitutes accessible to all consumers.
Food For thougts
I was delighted by the bento set provided by the organisation team. It offered me a great blend of flavours through the plant-based dishes, from both local and international startups. This was my first time trying the fermented vegan cheese from Nut Culture, which is made from organic cashew nuts. It totally satisfied my cheese cravings and enhance the typical salad! The Berried Peaches Kombucha from Kombynation also amazed me for its perfect balance between acidity, fragrance and fruity flavour. Their Kombucha definitely kicked a punch and I really enjoyed the tongue-tantalising experience. I can say that I am a fan of it now!
Other dishes included a plant-based wagyu teriyaki from Top Tier Foods, high-fibre and low-GI rice from Alchemy, fresh produce sourced locally from Urban Tiller, Roquette’s Nutralys textured plant protein in a Thai basil stir-fry, and The Vegetarian Butcher’s vegan chicken nuggets and chunks.
During the culinary workshop at Classic Fine Foods, the conversation with the chef enlightened me on the key factors to create plant-based dishes with the best texture and taste and how to progress from food service restaurants to the retail market.
My personal favourite was the Tindle Chicken that was breadcrumbed and mixed with Japanese curry and bokchoy. The exterior of the patty was so crunchy and the interior was also surprisingly juicy. I was taken aback by how much it tasted like chicken. It gave me a blend of plant-based fats and flavours that were meant to recreate the taste and aroma of chicken. One interesting finding about Tindle Chicken’s product was that it can be reshaped and remould into any form – meatball, meat patties, chicken nugget etc. – without affecting the texture.
Wagyu Teriyaki - Top Tier Foods
I would like to give credit to the chef who prepared the plant-based wagyu teriyaki from Top Tier Foods during the workshop! It was seasoned very well by the chef and I would say it had a huge difference from the same dish we had for the bento set in terms of the texture and flavours. My first impression was this was real Wagyu beef. The flavour was so authentic due to the use of Japanese ingredients. It was exceptionally tender with delicate notes of umami.
KARANA - Plant-based pork alternative
I also tried Karana plant-based pork, fried with charsiew sauce which resonate well with my local taste. It retains its nutrients due to the fact that the jackfruit is processed minimally and it contains only three other ingredients namely canola oil, sea salt, and natural flavours. I was wondering whether the Karana itself had a taste of jackfruit and I tried it raw. To my surprise, it does not taste like jackfruit at all, probably masked by the natural flavours. This makes it very versatile and allows the chef to bring something new to every dish.
I believe the emerging trend in the alternative meat industry will constantly surprise us in new ways. The growing awareness of the impact of industrial animal agriculture and fishing on our ecosystem, human health and animal welfare among university students will drive more talents into the space. By looking at the KETMAPS, it is very encouraging to see that there’s enormous interest across the globe committing to food sustainability. This could offer us more affordable and wholesome protein alternatives that we can incorporate into our diet. I believe we can achieve a world where alternative proteins are no longer an alternative very soon! 🙂