Unique technology produces tasteful and affordable meat substitute
VEGA Delights has developed a unique technology that produces great vegan alternatives for meat products. These alternatives taste like meat, perfectly resemble its structure and contain loads of proteins. In September 2021, VEGA Delights joined the Foodvalley network, Innovation field Protein Shift.
Ashok Jagram, owner of VEGA Delights, has been a vegetarian for over 25 years: “Often, the taste of vegetarian or vegan products is rather disappointing. They are also very expensive compared to meat products. With the technology we’ve developed we can bring affordable, healthy and tasteful alternatives to meat products to the market. Our goal is to make these products available to as many people as possible, worldwide. And the way to do that is by sharing our knowledge. Our technology is of interest to other companies because of the meat-like taste of the product, the efficient production process and the low resource costs.”
Need for the taste of meat
The foundation for VEGA Delights was laid by Vadim Kriukov, Ashok’s Russian partner. Vadim had befriended a Tibetan Lama who told him that many monks, who often follow a vegetarian diet for spiritual reasons, missed the taste of meat. There was a great need for a good vegetarian substitute. Vadim grabbed the opportunity with both hands and went to work. And he did so successfully: the innovative vegetarian product he developed won a medal in 2013 on the Prodexpo food and drinks exhibition in Moscow.
From seitan to wheat gluten
Ashok: “This winning product was made of seitan, a type of protein from wheat or spelt. However, developing this product was time-consuming and a lot of water was wasted in the production process.” VEGA Delights discovered a high-grade gluten powder as an alternative, made of wheat. This high-quality wheat grows well naturally without chemical fertilisers. Ashok continues: “By extracting the starch from the wheat, we create a very high percentage of gluten. Using these Vital Gluten has many advantages: the production process is much simpler and more efficient, and it requires much less water. Moreover, the products do contain many proteins, but no cholesterol and little salt/sodium and saturated fats. And with Vital Gluten we can create products that resemble the taste and structure of meat even more.”
Food bloggers are excited
VEGA Delights has now developed over 20 completely plant-based products with Vital Gluten, such as sausages, hot dogs, sliced meat and pâtés in a variety of flavours. A number of well-known food bloggers have praised the results. “We are now working hard to get our products on retailers’ shelves. And we are planning to increase our product range even further. We hope that other Foodvalley Members can help us with that”, Ashok concludes.