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Zurich – Planted, a start-up from the Greater Zurich Area, develops substitute meat products from plant-based proteins. Planted‘s chicken made from peas comes astonishingly close to replicating real chicken and is already on offer in ten restaurants across Switzerland.

Planted set itself the goal of developing meat that does not come from animals, but that is rather manufactured from plant-based proteins, as explained by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH) in a press release. The university is providing both expertise and infrastructure for a Pioneer Fellowship to support the start-up from the Greater Zurich Area. The press release further explains how the global meat production industry uses up both land and animal feed, as well as being responsible for 18 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Lukas Böni, one of the three founders of Planted, commented in the press release: “For this reason, we wanted to offer consumers an environmentally friendly substitute meat product which protects animal welfare”. The food scientists are particularly keen to ensure that the plant-based substitute product also “incorporates cultural aspects related to meat consumption in that it above all tastes great”.

Planted has already developed its first product to market maturity: Planted Chicken is made from a dough comprising pea proteins and water, which is then pressed through a nozzle. “We have to be able to precisely control the flow characteristics of the dough in order to achieve the characteristic fibrous quality of chicken meat”, Böni explains. The ETH explains in the press release the result is a product which “comes astonishingly close to replicating the appearance, texture and taste of real chicken”.

At the moment, Planted Chicken is available to try at just ten specially selected restaurants in Zurich, Lucerne and Geneva. This network is set to be expanded on a gradual basis. At the same time, Böni and his colleagues are working on the development of additional plant-based meat products. The press release clarifies that, in principle, the technology used for Planted Chicken could be used to imitate the protein fibers in other types of meat.

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