World’s First Chickpea Burgers That ‘Taste Like Meat’
An Israeli company has developed what it claims to be the world’s first plant-based burger made entirely of chickpea protein – and says it mimics the smell, texture, and taste of the real thing.
Meat.The End (MTE) develops protein ingredients that enhance the texture of alternative meat products. Its soy-based burgers and chicken nuggets are already being sold by Burger King Israel across the country.
Its new burgers are made of 100 percent chickpea protein isolate – a type of protein powder that is separated from fat, lactose, gluten, and other components that originate from the protein’s source.
Chickpea burgers are nothing new, but MTE says that its burgers are the only ones that have a meat-like texture and mouthfeel, thanks to its unique technology. Its chickpea burgers will be available later this year.
It has added extra processing steps (before, during, and after) to the traditional extrusion process, which rapidly pushes ingredients into a small opening to form and shape them, after mixing, kneading, and cooking them. Extrusion is used to make numerous food products including snacks, breakfast cereals, and pasta.
“The future of the protein supply chain is – diversity,” said CEO Dr. Yishai Mishor. “The world needs more protein options. Today we’re helping the industry take another step in that direction.”
The plant-based meat alternative industry has been dominated by soy protein, and more recently, pea protein. But as demand continues to rise for soy-based products, tropical countries like Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay are increasingly clearing forests to grow the crop, which releases many greenhouse gasses. Soy is an intensively grown crop with high demand for water, energy, soil, and pesticides and fertilizers.
Chickpea, like other legumes, contribute to healthy soil by improving fertility and reducing the need for chemical fertilizers. Its water use is also low, when compared to soybeans.
MTE was founded in 2020, and is based in Tel Aviv.