Sustainable foods, a New Zealand based company plans to launch a burger that will be made of locally grown hemp. The hemp-based meat will be marketed under the firm’s retail brand The Craft Meat Co, next year.
Kyran Rai, the co-founder of Sustainable Foods told The Food Navigator-Asia (a food and beverage publication) that The Craft Meat Co. already sells a range of plant-based products in which hemp is being used for nutritional value. The new product uses hemp as its base. The total consumable protein will be higher than that of animal-based protein sources due to hemp being naturally high in proteins.
The company is partnering with New Zealand medical cannabis producer Greenfern industry as their exclusive hemp producer. The Greanfern industry has its own hydraulic power plant which will power the processing and production of its products vastly increasing the sustainability of its processes.
Health remaining the key drive, Rai alongside co-owner Justin Lemmene said that the hemp-based meat production will be focused on minimal processing and natural ingredients largely driven by consumer trends searching for healthier and more sustainably sourced foods. During the launch in 2021, the hemp-based meat analog will be priced affordably to enable a wide uptake.
In New Zealand, hemp seeds were legalized as food in 2018 while in Australia in 2017. Looking at current regulations the firm may be limited to its choices of expanding to other countries. However, according to the co-founder, they are receiving inquiries on hemp-based meat from other countries such as Thailand and Singapore.
When asked what the taste and texture of hemp-based meat will be like compared to animal-based or other alternative meats, Rai said that it delivered on factors needed for consumers to feel satisfied during any eating occasion.