In Brazil, a successful healthy food option is showcased at international event.
Gourmet Vegan Burger, a product recently launched by Adventist-linked Superbom, won second place as the First Ingredients (FI) Innovations Awards’ Most Innovative Product. Superbom specializes in manufacturing healthy food products, while the FI Innovations Awards are given by food industry experts in South America.
“Gourmet Vegan Burger is the first plant-based food product to win this award,” said Superbom Research and Development director Cristina Ferreira. “For us, it is a way of recognizing all our pioneering and innovative work in the meat substitute business.”
Superbom Vegan Burger
According to the food company’s marketing department, Gourmet Vegan Burger is a new vegan option that includes all the characteristics of bovine ground beef and a visual similarity and flavor identical to animal meat. Food company nutrition experts explained that the new burger has no preservatives or artificial colors, and it is also free of allergens and transgenic products. It comes at the right time, they said, as the number of vegans has skyrocketed in several countries around the world.
“It seeks to meet growing demand in Brazil for options without animal products but that taste good and have nutritional benefits,” company experts said. “These new consumers are vegetarians, vegans, flexitarians [people who exclude most but not all meat consumption], sportsmen, and advocates of healthy eating.”
Investment in Research and Development
The company said it invested about 9 million Brazilian reals (about US$2.2 million) in technology, research, and testing to arrive at the ideal product formula. The product, according to Superbom, is free of allergens, transgenics, preservatives, and artificial colors. And it still has 15 grams of protein. This amount is considered a good protein load for meat substitutes.
The nutritional benefits of this food extend to the high fiber content rich in vitamins A, B9 and B12, company experts said. And the same applies to the burger’s amount of iron and zinc.
“Even with more than fifty years developing meat substitutes, we always strive to innovate,” Ferreira said. “In this case, besides making an effort to understand the Brazilian market, we sought international references from thriving markets. And we plan to keep on investing in innovation and quality,” she said.
The original version of this story was posted on the Portuguese-language South American Division news site.