A paradigm shift in lifestyle with K-vegetable protein

Vegetable protein gets big attention at AFRO 2023 신태섭 기자l승인2023.09.25l수정2023.09.25 14:29






Although the market for vegetable proteins such as alternative meat is growing day by day in Korea, there is still a strong perception that the total adressable market is very lemited. It is being pointed out that this will be an obstacle to the growing vegetable protein sector, and in order to further grow the market, a product that will awaken people’s recognition is needed. Koreans have already been eating a vegetable protein called tofu for a long time, and as they have a variety of vegan recipes, they need something innovative and a product that everyone can enjoy.


Research and development of traditional to localize vegetable protein

Zeta Food Lab’s BEAN_EARTH is a brand that considers considers the environment and the earth and researches healthy and excellent food that we can enjoy. Since its establishment in 2021, the company has continued research and development of traditional to localize vegetable protein. A company official said “The concept of alternative food refers to replacing meat products in the West. However, in Asia, especially in Korea, where meat and fruits and vegetables are used in a variety of ways, alternative food does not get as much attention as they do in the West.” Therefore, it is necessary to develop foods for Korea’s diverse and balanced traditional vegetarian diet as ‘vegetable protein’ rather than ‘meat replacement’. Zeta Food Lab has discovered ingredients that are familiar to Asians, including Koreans, and is constructing proteins by combining them with cutting-edge technology. Vegekin, developed in this way, is a product that provides a chewy and springy texture with K-vegetable protein and the original flavor of the raw material, beans. 


Chewy and springy texture thanks to the HTHP method, a molecular cooking technique

Contribution to a healthy life cycle by consuming nutritious protein

Vegekin is not a meat substitute, but a plant-based protein product with the natural flavor of plant-based ingredients. Zeta Food Lab’s CEO Jungwoo Hahn said “In Europe, the vegetarian movement emerged in the late 19th century, leading to the alternative meat trend. Asia including Korea, however, has maintained a balanced and diverse vegetarian diet thanks to Buddhism.” The vegan craze is a global trend, but in Asia, where vegetarian diets have been experienced for a long time, selection standards for such alternative meat foods are high. Vegekin applies the HTHP technique, which uses high temperature and high pressure simultaneously to precisely restore the puffed protein connections of TVP (Textured Vegatable Protein). This is not a replacement for meat, but was developed to eat vegetable protein, so you can enjoy the natural flavor of vegetable protein with advanced processing technology. This product contains no artificial colorants, preservatives, MSG and has minimal food additives. This has a protein content of 23.53g per 100g, which is twice as high as the same amount of eggs. Zeta Food Lab plans to go beyond simply providing plant-based proteins and improve people’s lifestyles with nutritious protein sources. Vegekin provides original products and has developed and plan to provide sauces such as spicy mayo, hot sauce, and soy sauce. The company plans to expand its product lineup based on these products.

▲ Zeta Food Lab / CEO Jungwoo Hahn

A company official said “We have launched ‘Vegekin Chunk’, a large chunk of protein that can be consumed conveniently, and plan to launch ‘Vegekin Cube’, which is easy to use in cooking like sliced tofu.” The Vegekin product line attracted great attention at AFRO 2023, Korea’s largest agtech & foodtech event held last July in COEX. CEO Hahn said “Zeta Food Lab will fulfill its responsibility to create a positive future for humanity through sustainable food.”

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