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The opportunity of plant-based preservatives in plant-based meat industry

Issuing time:2020-06-08 09:56


Recently, plant-based meat has become popular all over the world. Since the plant-based meat brand, Beyond Meat launched on the stock market in 2019, its share price has risen by 163%. KFC, Starbucks, Papa John's, Nestle, Burger King, including domestic online bubble tea Heytea have sought to join the bandwagon of plant-based alternatives.

Environment protection

Animal husbandry is extremely land and water-intensive and accounts for 15% of global greenhouse emissions making it the second largest contributor to global warming. However, plant-based meat is derived directly from plants, which are more conducive to environmental protection and resource conservation.

For example, compared with standard beef burger, Beyond Burger reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 90%; energy consumption by 46%; impact on water shortage by 99% and land use by 93%.

Healthy diet

As we know, the animal protein may cause harm to human health because of abuse of antibiotics, additives, high cholesterol and the spread of animal diseases. But the plant protein used in “meat” can completely replace animal protein, and has the health advantages of zero cholesterol, lower fat content and a small amount of dietary fiber. It can also be customized to add micronutrients required by the human body. The flexible formula makes plant-based meat more nutritious and healthier. Plant-based meat can completely avoid infectious diseases caused by eating animal meat, especially animal-borne diseases that can be seen from this year's COVID-19 outbreak.



In recent years, vegetarianism has become a global trend. From 2008 to 2015, the number of vegetarians in the United States increased from more than 7 million to more than 10 million. In the same period, the number of products labelled "vegetarian" and “vegan" increased by 25% and 27% respectively. Plant-based meat caters to this growing trend.

Shoratge of meat supply

According to the statistics of the United Nations, the population of the whole world will reach about 9.8 billion in 2050, and the urbanization rate from the current 55% will increase to 68%. Urbanization and population growth will lead to an increase of total meat demand, meanwhile the development of meat replacement protein will increase rapidly. In the short term, plant-based meat can be an effective solution to outbreaks like last year's African swine fever that is likely to have caused meat shortages.

Animal welfare


Plant-based meat caters to the trend of animal welfare. Over the past few decades, retailers and food producers have set higher animal welfare standards for animal food, and increasingly require manufacturers to comply with these standards in trade agreements. According to recent studies, nearly 90% of Chinese people are inclined to buy pork products from higher welfare farms. Many of them have expressed a willingness to pay 5% to 10% more for pork with better animal welfare standards.

The opportunity of plant-based preservatives in plant-based meat industry

Plant-based preservatives are one or several active ingredients with antimicrobial, bactericidal and antioxidant properties extracted from natural plants. They can be used as natural antiseptic products instead of traditional chemical preservatives. As a whole plant-based product, plant-based preservatives have inherent advantages in the application of plant-based meat.

1、Genetically akin and extracted from similar natural sources, plant-based preservatives and plant-based meat improve the nutrient profile in a person’s diet. Both of them are also more environmentally friendly since they are produced by steam distillation with zero emissions, lower pollution, and increased biodegradability.

2、In the early iterations of plant-based meats, plant-based preservatives could preserve nutrient contents and customers were willing to pay a premium for them. Because of changes in customers’ preferences, plant-based meat has gained acceptance due to its health and nutritional benefits. Vast improvements in plant-based preservatives now offer a safer and healthier option than chemical preservatives.

3、Currently, the technical barriers to entry of plant-based meat are low and there is little doubt that the plant-based meat market will become fiercely competitive inevitably leading to a price war. To remain competitive in the future, innovation beyond just fat content will be required. Plant-based preservatives create a product differentiation by providing cleaner labels with less additives.

The plant-based preservatives not only eliminate the need for chemical preservatives and antioxidants, but also can be used as an edible flavor to improve the taste profile of artificial meat. They extend the shelf life of the product thereby saving cost of cold-chain transportation. The complexity of formulation of plant-based preservatives also forms a barrier for entry to new entrants in the plant-based meat market.

4、It is important to note that plant-based preservatives which are safe, stable and have reliable anti-degradation properties will protect the plant-based meat during supply chain transportation. Plant-based preservatives are extracted from cinnamon, orange peel, lemon, rosemary and other natural raw materials. These natural substances do not contain any chemical ingredients. It meets the national GB30616-2014 “National Food Safety National Standard for Food Flavors” and has passed SGS testing and certification guarantees of safety and non-toxicity.



The stability of plant-based preservatives from Nature Journey:

pH stability: The plant-based preservatives from Nature Journey have excellent antiseptic and nutrient-protection properties in pH3~12 environment, so it can be widely used in different kinds of production processes. At present, the protein sources of plant-based meat mainly come from soybean and pea. We believe the range of raw materials that can replace meat protein will inevitably expand in the future. It may come from beans to nuts and grains, which can become the new material in plant based meat. Plant-based preservatives have good adaptability to these newer raw materials as well.


Temperature stability:


there are various cooking methods of plant-based meat, such as deep-frying of plant-based steak, or deep-frying of plant-based hamburger. As shown in the figure below, the plant-based preservatives from Nature Journey can maintain long-term stability in hot, humid, baking and frying cooking conditions.

Reliability of Nature Journey’s plant-based preservatives :

Broad specturm antimicrobial activity

Nature Journey’s plant-based preservatives are effective on common micro-organisms such as Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus cereus, Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, Candida albicans, and Aspergillus niger. From the figure below, it shows us its broad spectrum antimicrobial activity. Mixing with other chemical preservatives is not required


Antioxidant activity

1591583551(1).jpgThe main cause for the food spoilage, loss of color and nutrients are free radical ions. According to an experiment of removing free radical ions from food, the free radical scavenging rate of plant-based preservatives is basically the same as that of chemical antioxidants (as shown in the figure below). The experiment proves that under the sufficient dose and time, Nature Journey’s product can achieve 100% DPPH.   It has excellent color protection and antioxidant function.

Plants-based sources are widely available and easily customizable:

The raw materials of plant-based preservatives are cinnamon, orange peel, lemon, rosemary, etc., which are widely available in nature.   The output of raw materials is less affected by external factors such as climate and geography, which can ensure stable cost and supply. Moreover, with further diversification of material sourcing, production processes, edible recipes and varieties of plant-based meat products, Nature Journey can flexibly provide customized preservatives for different categories of plant-based meat according to the effectiveness of different antibacterial ingredients.


All in all, Innova market insights believes that 2019 is the beginning of human "plant revolution". Both plant-based meat and plant-based preservatives being at the centre of this revolutionary storm.