A Whole Foods in Boulder, Colorado, was graced this week with the launch of Beyond Meat's first sausage product, called Beyond Sausage. Fortune reports that the company is testing to see how the vegan faux-meat does before rolling out the next step in January.
According to Grub Street, that step will likely be wild success. The company launched their meatless burger patties in Boulder as well, in May of 2016. They sold out within an hour. There are now patties available in over 5,000 locations across the U.S.
The sausages have been in development for about a year, but CEO Ethan Brown told Fortune that it shows the development of Beyond Meat over the past decade.
“This is part of the continuum for us,” said Brown. “It’s really been a mantra for us that we want to relentlessly and rapidly innovate.”
So, what was the most challenging part of creating a meatless sausage? The texture. Since meat sausages are composed of most parts of the animal, it has a lot of varying consistency. To achieve that mouth feel, Beyond Meat used a mixture of peas, fava beans, and rice.
They also wanted to recreate the way a sausage casing generally cooks. Made from animal intestines, meat casings are semi-permeable, so they allow fat out over heat, but contain the meat, which produces the unique cooked sausage flavor. Developers created a casing made form alginate, which is algae-based. It doesn't naturally curve over heat as meat-casing does, but they're selling the sausages in molded trays. Both your mouth and your eyes will be fooled.
And they're much better for you than regular meat sausages. The contain no cholesterol and have 43 percent less total fat, 38 percent less saturated fat, and 26 percent less sodium than a sausage of the same size made from animal products. You can also get them in three flavors: bratwurst, sweet Italian, and hot Italian. Kind of makes you want to break out the grill in the dead of winter, right?
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The Good Food Institute has awarded a $3 million grant to 14 scientists working on new faux meats.