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The challenge

Changing consumer demands

The food choice preferences of consumers – in Australia and abroad – are changing, though appetites necessarily aren’t. Concerned with the environmental and ethical impacts of meat production, as well as health concerns from over consumption of meat, there is a growing trend towards plant-based diets, or flexitarian diets with reduced meat consumption through practices such as meat-free days.

While the meat industry is moving to address concerns, a growing sector of the food market is looking to develop plant-based alternatives to traditional meat-based products such as burger patties. These new products seek to mimic the taste, smell and texture of traditional offerings to provide meat-eating consumers with alternatives that satisfy their appetites.

Our response

World-leading food science

We have partnered with Competitive Foods and Main Sequence Ventures to found a new start-up company called v2food. CSIRO has a broad range of food production and nutrition capabilities, and these were tasked with developing new types of plant-based protein products that meet a growing market need.

A cooked v2food burger patty.

Our food texture and flavour scientists have developed a product that meets the standards of discerning consumers. Derived from plant protein, our researchers looked to replicate the structure of meat products while maintaining a similar taste.

While other companies developed their products over many years, our expertise was able to create a new consumer-ready offering in just eight months.

The results

Ready to serve

The first commercially available product via v2food is a plant-based protein burger which will be sold in Australia from food retailer Hungry Jacks. A v2food mince product is now also available through food meal-kit delivery service Marley Spoon, giving consumers the option to create their meals at home.

We are carrying out environmental lifecycle assessments to identify continuing areas of improvement to not only develop a nutritious but also sustainable product line to give consumers a wide choice that meets their health and environmental demands. Plans are underway to develop a wider range of plant-based protein alternative foods and make these products commercially available in supermarkets and restaurants across Australia.

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