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Facts on Meat Substitutes

A meat analogue (Also called meat substitute or mock meat) is a food product that approximates the aesthetic qualities and/or chemical characteristics of certain types of meat. Some meat analogues rely on one or more types of flavoring.

Generally, meat analogue is understood to mean a food made from non-meats, and often without dairy as well. The market for meatless foods includes health-conscious non-vegetarians, lactose-intolerant people, persons following rules of Kashrut, or to address ethical and nutritional issues for vegetarians and vegans. An example of this type of use is in Buddhist cuisine, which has the oldest known use of meat analogues.

Meat analogue may also refer to a meat-based, but healthier and/or less-expensive alternative to a particular meat product.

Vegetarian meat, dairy, and egg analogues
Some of the more traditional vegetarian meat analogues are based on centuries-old recipes for seitan (wheat gluten), other grains such as rice, mushrooms, legumes, tempeh, and/or pressed-tofu, with flavoring to make the finished product taste like chicken, beef, lamb, ham, sausage, seafood, etc. Some of the more-recent meat analogues include textured vegetable protein (TVP, which is a dry bulk commodity derived from soy), soy concentrate, Quorn, and modified defatted peanut flour to replace meat. TVP is produced more than any other meat analogue in most Western nations.

Examples of dairy analogues include those based primarily on processed rice, soy (tofu, soymilk, soy protein isolate), almond, cashew, gluten (such as with the first non-dairy creamers), nutritional yeast, or a combination of these, plus flavoring to make it taste like milk, cheeses, yogurt, mayonnaise, ice cream, cream cheese, sour cream, whipped cream, buttermilk, rarebit, or butter. Many dairy analogues contain casein, which is extracted dried milk proteins, when combined with soy and gluten, and are therefore not suitable for vegans.

Examples of egg substitutes include tofu-scramblers, egg whites, or -- for baking -- Ener-G or similar products which recreate the leavening and binding effects of eggs in baked goods.

Vegetarian meat-analogues have become a multi-billion dollar per year business, ever since they were created by vegetarian Buddhists over 1000 years ago. For a graphical table showing vegetarian meat, dairy, and egg substitutes, click here.

Surimi and other meat-based meat analogues
Many common products such as 'imitation crab meat' are called surimi, or a processed hash of fish plus flavorings to make it taste more like a shellfish. In some regions, 'Surimi' refers to the finished product or only to products made from fish, but the same process is also used with turkey in North America (e.g. turkey-dogs), and thus also called "surimi" often.

Examples of surimi include: Surimi from fish, such as imitation crab, imitation shrimp, or imitation lobster. Surimi from turkey, such as hot dogs, brats, sausage, salami, lunch meats, loafs, burgers, bacon, ham, or ground. Other processed poultry products, such as emu, in the same forms described above for turkey. Non-meat (vegetarian) products and Surimi products are both marketed often as "imitation" meats, rather than "meat analogues" (e.g. imitation crab or imitation shrimp).

Some manufacturers of imitation meats, dairy, or eggs ADM; owns the trademark of TVP, but many make similar products. Sells only to other large businesses. Soyfoods Assoc. of N. America, Boca, Green Giant, Morningstar Farms, Whitewave, Fantastic, Harvest Direct, Yves', Lightlife, Worthington, Quorn, Wholesoy, Mori-Nu, Healthy Eating, Jyoti Indian Tamarind Tree Indian, Tofu von Taifun, Wheaty, Lifetree, The Redwood Wholefood Company, Haldane Foods, Wicken Fen, Soymage, ChReese, Nasoya, Silk Milk, Soy Delicious, etc., Tofutti.

 

  Copyright © 2006 Andy's Market. This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Meat Substitutes".


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