By Tonya Garcia, MarketWatch
Dining habits have changed a lot over recent decades, but are consumers ready for recycled food?
Tyson Foods Inc. /zigman2/quotes/201117502/composite TSN -2.31% thinks they are. Tyson Innovation Labs, the group charged with bringing new products to market faster, has introduced Yappah, a brand of protein crisps made from “rescued and upcycled vegetable- and grain-based ingredients,” according to the company’s release.
Tyson provides chicken breast trim that is combined with vegetable purée, taken from juicing, or spent grain from beer brewing at Molson Coors Brewing Co. /zigman2/quotes/205165133/composite TAP -1.09% , to make Yappah’s flavors, which include Chicken IPA White Cheddar and Chicken - Shandy Beer. A Michelin-starred chef, Kang Kuan, was also enlisted for his culinary expertise.
The goal is for Yappah to act as a springboard to address social and sustainability challenges.
“Fighting food waste is just the beginning,” said Rizal Hamdallah, head of Tyson Innovation Lab, in a statement.
Yappah was launched on Indiegogo and is going through a 90-day pilot at a Chicago supermarket in July. The company says the world’s growing population has a taste for protein, and the traditional methods won’t always be able to satisfy the demand.
Tyson, which is known for conventional meat production from chickens and other livestock, also recently announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Tyson Ventures, has co-led a $2.2 million investment in Future Meat, which produces meat in a lab.
A Jerusalem-based biotechnology company, Future Meat is using muscle and fat cells from animals to make meat that’s not genetically modified — and can pass the sniff test.
“Animal fat produces the unique aroma and flavor of meat that makes our mouth water,” said Yaakov Nahmias, chief scientist at Future Meat and a professor at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in a statement.
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According to Nahmias, Future Meat is producing its “cultured meat” in environments that mimic animal physiology using giant vats, or bioreactors, that grow the meat cost-efficiently. The cultured meat is made in a disposable plastic bag much like the IV bags you’d see in a hospital, which are then used as the product wrapping.
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Currently, Future Meat makes chicken, but it is working on beef.
The average diner might not find that appetizing, but then again, the traditional way of harvesting the meat that consumers find neatly shrink-wrapped at the grocer isn’t that great either, he told MarketWatch.
Future Meat Technologies
“You’re packing thousands of chickens onto a truck where they’re defecating on each other,” he said. “Then it’s to a meat processing plant where they’re slaughtered by the hundreds of thousands.”