Plant-based meat alternatives that taste like the real thing
On the Green Side is the first enterprise on in Africa to use high-moisture extrusion cooking to turn plant-based raw materials into tasty, clean-label meat replacers and hybrid products. The company joined Foodvalley in 2021 to find partners that can help them conquer the international market.
“Northern Europe, including the Netherlands, has a lot of knowledge and expertise on extrusion technology, as well as a broad network of suppliers, manufacturers and customers in the plant-based business,” says Chris du Preez, food scientist and director and co-owner of On the Green Side. “We want to link into that because we believe our product is good enough to compete in the international market.”
Access to distributors around the world
Via Foodvalley, the company hopes to gain access to distributors and customers around the world, as well as manufacturers producing the next generation of plant-based proteins like chickpeas and fava beans. “We would like to exchange knowledge and ideas with them on the functionality of proteins, GMOs, natural flavors and other current topics,” says John Boyes, co-owner and director of On the Green Side, and responsible for the company’s strategy.
In their turn, Du Preez and Boyes are happy to share their experiences in the creation of plant-based, meat-like textures. “In recent years we’ve invested a lot of time in finding the perfect formula. By introducing water, pressure and heat to a special multi plant-protein blend, we’ve managed to create flavorful, fibrous textures that, people say, are very similar to the real thing,” explains Du Preez.
Making a difference
On the Green Side is dedicated to making a difference in the meat industry, first in its home country of South Africa. “We wanted to provide a nutritious and tasty substitute for meat in some products – the only thing that low-income people in our country can afford,” explains Boyes. The company has built up a well-established business, with its products sold via the largest retailers in South Africa. “However, want to look beyond the borders of our country to increase our impact on the world.”