New Generation Companies at Hampton Roads Try to Create Plant-Based Foodstuffs

Daily food items such as eggs, mayonnaise, salad sauce, and biscuits from unusual sources are being created by new generation companies. In a kitchen on Hampton Roads metropolitan area, precisely Hampton Creek Technology Company, cooks are trying to recreate everyday food, such as eggs, mayonnaise, salad sauce, and biscuits from unusual sources. “Experimenting with completely different ingredients from the food system is similar to walking on the surface of the moon. We did something that no one else had done before so this work was full of challenges,” said cook Chris Jones, who heads product development at Hampton Creek technology company. Although food for vegetarians is as long as vegetarians, new generation companies, mostly from California, are using new technology to find alternative protein sources not sourced from animals.

Hampton Creek utilizes robotic technology to identify plants from around the world that can help recreate traditional food ingredients as a substitute for animal products with plant ingredients. “We looked at the properties of different molecules and in the end we were able to recognize the relationship between what we saw at the molecular level as if the material would cause the sponge to expand or make the taste of mayonnaise delicious or whether it would glue the biscuits or make butter with delicious cream, “said Hampton Creek founder Josh Tetrick. “Indeed, this progress has only recently been achieved, both in screening methodology and data science, which makes it possible,” said Jim Flatt, head of research and development at Hampton Creek.

At another company lab, Beyond Meat, scientists recreated hamburgers sourced from yellow bean protein, soybeans, and bits that resembled animal blood. Scientists describe the basic structure of meat and explore the world of plants to look for similar elements. They then rearrange it into a new type of food that uses plant-based proteins to create “burgers” that are similar to beef burgers. “What we do is we take elements from plants. We do it through heating, cooling, and pressure that basically compiles the whole protein so they can form tissue textures similar to animal muscles,” said founder Beyond Meat, Ethan Brown. These companies say plants are the key to solving global food problems. “Whether it’s Asia, Africa, India, you are witnessing a very strong trend of increasing consumption of animal protein. I think the world will not be able to meet all those needs,” Brown said. Indeed the planet cannot possibly meet our needs by the way we consume meat because we do not have enough fertile land to create grain plants for the needs of all the animals we eat if we will feed meat to everyone in this world.