ALBANY, Calif. (KNX) — There's plant-based meat and then there's plant-based meat that's so realistic...that it's hard to tell it apart from the real thing. That's the case over in the Bay Area, where Sundial Foods announced a $4 million dollar investment by companies including Nestlé.
The draw of the investment? Chicken wings complete with fully plant-based skin, meat and bones — and it looks delicious.
The Bay Area business touts itself as a company striving to drive "the affordability, sustainability and nutritional value of plant-based meat." And their "chicken" wings seem to offer the full experience.
But how do they get the meat-like texture that they claim to have?
"Sundial's proprietary technology allows for the simulation of a whole cut of meat, with a fibrous meat texture, including muscle, and plant-based skin and bone," the company said in a statement to PR Neswire.
"We want to give consumers — whether vegetarian, vegan, flexitarian, or meat-eating — a plant-based meat-eating experience that's interesting, craveable, and versatile," Sundial co-founder Jessica Schwabach said.
There are only eight ingredients in Sundial's wings — water, chickpeas, gluten, chickpea protein concentrate, soybeans, nutritional yeast, salt and sunflower oil, according to the company's website.
A quick glance at the nutrition facts shows that two wings (100 grams) go for 242 calories, with 9.4 grams of fat 13.1 carbs, 26.9 grams of protein, and 162 milligrams of potassium.
The investment in the plant-based food item that mimics the real thing isn't a first for Nestlé. In October the company launched alternatives to egg and shrimp.
"Garden Gourmet vEGGie" mimics eggs and contains both soy and omega-3 fatty acids to achieve an egg-like item that can be "scrambled like real eggs, used in a frittat and pancakes or even as an ingredient when baking cakes," the company said in a statement.
"Garden Gourmet Vrimp" were announced the same week as a vegan combination of seaweed, peas and konjac root that is a solid source of fiber and offers "authentic texture and flavor of succulent shrimps."