World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Meat analogue

Article Id: WHEBN0000369403
Reproduction Date:

Title: Meat analogue  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Wheat gluten (food), List of meat substitutes, Buddhist cuisine, Tofurkey, Tempeh
Collection: Buddhist Cuisine, Chinese Inventions, Imitation Foods, Lent, Meat Substitutes, Vegetarian Cuisine
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Meat analogue

Hong Kong style tofu from Buddhist cuisine is prepared as an alternative to meat
Tempeh Burger
A vegan faux-meat pie, containing soy protein and mushrooms, from an Australian bakery
Two slices of vegetarian bacon

A meat analogue, also called a meat alternative, meat substitute, mock meat, faux meat, imitation meat, or (where applicable) vegetarian meat or vegan meat, approximates certain aesthetic qualities (primarily texture, flavor and appearance) and/or chemical characteristics of specific types of meat. Many analogues are soy-based (see: tofu, tempeh) or gluten-based.

Generally, meat analogue is understood to mean a food made from non-meats, sometimes without other animal products, such as dairy. The market for meat imitations includes vegetarians, vegans, non-vegetarians seeking to reduce their meat consumption for health or ethical reasons, and people following religious dietary laws in Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism.

Tofu, a popular meat analogue, was invented in the Han dynasty.[1] A document written by Tao Gu (903–970) describes how tofu was called "small mutton" and valued as an imitation meat. Meat analogues such as tofu and wheat gluten are associated with Buddhist cuisine in China and other parts of East Asia.[2] In Medieval Europe, meat analogues were popular during Lent, when the consumption of meat from warm-blooded animals is forbidden.[3]

Meat analogue may also refer to a meat-based and/or less-expensive alternative to a particular meat product, such as surimi.


  • History 1
  • Vegetarian meat, dairy and egg analogues 2
  • Lab-grown animal tissue 3
  • Surimi and similar meat-based meat analogues 4
  • See also 5
  • Notes 6
  • Further reading 7
  • External links 8


A history of meat alternatives has been published.[4] It argues that simple foods such as (tofu) are protein ingredients rather than meat alternatives; they are not ready to eat. Only ready to eat foods (such as tofu burgers or tempeh burgers) are meat alternatives. The words "meat analogue" have not been used for about 15 years, largely because they are not as easily understood or descriptive as "meat alternatives."

Tofu, a popular meat analogue, was invented in China by the Han dynasty (206 BC–220 AD). Drawings of tofu production have been discovered in a Han dynasty tomb.[1] Its use as a meat analogue is recorded in a document written by Tao Gu (903–970). Tao describes how tofu was popularly known as "small mutton" (xiao zaiyang), which shows that the Chinese valued tofu as an imitation meat. Tofu was widely consumed during the Tang dynasty (618–907), and likely spread to Japan during the later Tang or early Song dynasty.[1]

Prior to the arrival of Buddhism, China was predominantly a meat consuming culture. The vegetarian dietary laws of Buddhism led to development of meat analogues as a replacement for the meat-based dishes that the Chinese were no longer able to consume as Buddhists. Meat analogues such as tofu and wheat gluten are still associated with Buddhist cuisine in China and other parts of East Asia.[2] Meat analogues were also popular in Medieval Europe during Lent, which prohibited the consumption of warm-blooded animals, eggs, and dairy products. Chopped almonds and grapes were used as a substitute for mincemeat. Diced bread was made into imitation cracklings and greaves.[3]

Vegetarian meat, dairy and egg analogues

Veggie burgers garnished with onion, ketchup, and Cheddar cheese

Some vegetarian meat analogues are based on centuries-old recipes for seitan (wheat gluten), rice, mushrooms, legumes, tempeh, yam flour or pressed-tofu, with flavoring added to make the finished product taste like chicken, beef, lamb, ham, sausage, seafood, etc. Yuba and textured vegetable protein (TVP) are other soy-based meat analogues. The first is made by layering the thin skin which forms on top of boiled soy milk.[5] the second is a dry bulk commodity derived from soy and soy protein concentrate.

Some meat analogues include mycoprotein-based Quorn (which usually uses egg white as a binder; only Vegan Burger is suitable for vegans), and modified defatted peanut flour and Valess (which is a sort of cheese, made from cow milk and seaweed).

Dairy analogues may be composed of processed rice, soy (tofu, soymilk, soy protein isolate), almond, cashew, gluten (such as with the first non-dairy creamers), nutritional yeast, or a combination of these, as well as flavoring to make it taste like milk, cheeses, yogurt, mayonnaise, ice cream, cream cheese, sour cream, whipped cream, buttermilk, rarebit or butter. Many dairy analogues contain casein, which is extracted dried milk proteins, making them unsuitable for vegans.

Egg substitutes include tofu, tapioca starch, ground flax seed, mashed bananas, applesauce and commercially prepared products that recreate the leavening, binding and/or textural effects of eggs in baked goods.

Lab-grown animal tissue

Biologists have long researched methods for growing muscle tissue in laboratory conditions. Advocacy group PETA offered a $1 million prize to the first company that could bring lab-grown chicken meat to consumers by 2012.[6]

Surimi and similar meat-based meat analogues

Surimi, a processed hash of fish plus flavorings, is used to make products such as imitation crab meat. In some regions, "surimi" refers only to products made from fish.

Examples of surimi include:

  • Surimi from fish, such as imitation crab, imitation shrimp, or imitation lobster.

Surimi products are often marketed as "imitation" meats (e.g., "imitation crab meat", "imitation shrimp").

See also


  1. ^ a b c DuBois, Christine; Tan, Chee-Beng; Mintz, Sidney (2008). The World of Soy. National University of Singapore Press. pp. 101–102.  
  2. ^ a b Anderson, E.N. (2014). "China". Food in Time and Place. University of California Press. p. 44.  
  3. ^ a b Adamson, Melitta Weiss (2004). Food in Medieval Times. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 72.  
  4. ^ Shurtleff, W.; Aoyagi, A.; 2014. "History of Meat Alternatives (965 CE to 2014)." Lafayette, California: Soyinfo Center. 1,437 pp.(6,759 references; 435 photos and illustrations. Free online).
  5. ^ Patterson, Daniel. The Way We Eat: I Can't Believe It's Tofu, New York Times, 2006-08-06. Retrieved on 2009-02-26.
  6. ^ Lab-Grown Meat a Reality, But Who Will Eat It? : NPR

Further reading

External links

  • Research Market: vegetarian profits
  • Soyfoods Association of North America
  • Meat-analogues on "FutureFood - Meat without livestock"
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Hawaii eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.