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Imitation meat

From Academic Kids

Imitation meat typically refers to any vegetarian food product designed to imitate the flavour and texture of processed meat. It also refers to meats produced by mincing a low quality protein to form an imitation of a higher quality protein. This process is known as Surimi, although in North America "Surimi" tends to refer to the entire product and only to products made from fish, although the same process is also used with turkey in North America also.

In the United States, the most common technology for producing imitation meats involves textured vegetable protein (TVP), a dry bulk commodity derived from soy. In the UK, Ireland and European Union imitation meats are derived from a variety of grains and vegetable proteins including soy, rice and peas. The foods thus produced imitate not raw meat but cooked, processed meats such as sausage, hamburger, frankfurter, roast beef, bacon, steak pie and so on. In Chinese Buddhist cuisine, imitation meat is often eaten by Buddhists who choose not to eat meat for religious reasons and is often made from gluten.

"Quorn" is the trade name for an mycoprotein-based imitation meat product made from microorganisms. There was controversy relating to its maker's characterisation of this organism as "a relative of the mushroom". Opponents of this description have stated that this microorganism is correctly described as a mold or fungus.

Imitations of meat, fish, cheese, milk etc. are big business in Europe. There are many successful companies producing these foods.

Surimi products in North America are typically marketed as "imitation" foods (imitation crab, imitation shrimp, imitation lobster). Although some companies do market Surimi loaf, burgers, salami, and sausage in North America, typically it is the Asian and European markets that have the most supply of these items.

As of 2003 most Dutch supermarkets sell a wide range of imitation meat products.

Tofu, tempeh and seitan are sometimes considered imitation meats in the West, though technically they are not as their usefulness as meat substitutes is more incidental than intentional.

Note: The terms synthetic meat and artificial meat are ambiguous, as they may refer to either imitation meat, or laboratory-grown meat.

See also

Some manufacturers of imitation meats

External links

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