It is difficult to distinguish it from "real meat" in terms of taste and shape

Gulfood 2023 sees vegetarian products with shrimp, fish and meat

Agthia: "Plant-based meat" products have imposed themselves as a new healthy trend in the food industry. Cinematographer: Mostafa Ghasemi

In a tour of the pavilions of the Gulf Food Exhibition "Gulfood 2023", Emirates Today monitored the display of vegetable products with nutritional values equivalent to those found in animal meat, and similar in terms of taste called "vegetable meat".

These innovative products are difficult to differentiate from animal meat and poultry in terms of taste and shape, but they are hygienic, as they are rich in protein and free of fat and gluten. Food producers and suppliers confirmed at the exhibition that there is a remarkable expansion in the introduction of these products manufactured from all-plant materials, to include salmon, shrimp, and chicken.

Innovative Products

Radwan Ahmed, CEO of IFFCO Group, said that the group has introduced through its platform products known as "vegetarian meat", which are completely manufactured from plant materials, and beans are the main ingredient in their manufacture.

He explained that these products are flavored and shaped to suit the local Arab environment, and included seven types, which are manufactured as «shawarma», «burger» and kofta.

He stressed that these products are very popular and in demand, which motivated companies to expand their offering.

"It is difficult to differentiate between these innovative products and animal meat and poultry in terms of taste and shape, but they are characterized by healthy specifications, as they are rich in protein and suitable for different healthy diets, as well as being free of fat and gluten," Ahmed said, pointing out that the group will offer these products in retail outlets in the local market at prices that suit consumer categories.

Health Specifications

In the same context, the general manager of the company «Eight Planet» International Foods, Oliver Benkaus, said that the company's products of «meat and poultry vegetarian» come in low calories and without fat, as well as being rich in protein and vitamins, without the taste of taste in any way from the taste of real animal meat and poultry.

He stressed that these products are commensurate with the eating habits of a number of consumers, and contribute significantly to sustainability plans, green environment and food security by relying on plant materials, and avoiding excessive consumption of livestock.

Healthy Orientation

Mubarak Al Mansoori, CEO of Snacks and Government Relations at Agthia Group, said that Agthia has introduced plant-based meat products within its brands as part of a market demand for these products.

He added that "plant-based meat" products are compatible with diverse diets and therefore have established themselves as a new health trend in the food industry.

Diversity and innovation

Joseph Mogulas, Executive Director of Business Development at GM Foods, said that the most expansive trend during the current cycle of Gulfood is "vegetarian meat and poultry" products, pointing out that this has stimulated companies to diversify and innovate, to include fish and not limited to products similar to meat and poultry in terms of nutritional values only, which were not common before.

He revealed that «GM Foods» will offer these products to the restaurant and hotel sector in the local market during the first phase, pointing out that the prices of these products in the beginning were exaggerated.