Innovative New Vegan Burger is Made From Chickpeas

Not just for hummus anymore!

MTE's new 100 percent chickpea burger.

(Photo by Ruthie Amano)

The plant-based food market keeps growing and the large variety of foods available make it easy to be a vegetarian, vegan, or pescatarian. You can drink faux milk, cheese, chicken, seafood, and of course meat. While many of these products are made from soy, nuts, or seaweed, there is a startup that is making the world’s first plant-based burger made entirely from chickpeas.

An Israeli food tech startup in Tel Aviv, Meat.The End (MTE) has developed the 100 percent chickpea burger that mimics the smell, taste, and texture of a real beef burger, reported NoCamels. While the company is not a new kid on the block, MTE already makes soy-based whoppers and chicken nuggets that are being sold in Burger King’s in Israel, this is the first time it is using the humble legume.

Why Chickpeas?
The company that was founded in 2020, has a mission to develop plant-based protein alternatives to animal proteins, the company said in a statement given to Goodnet. 

“The food market of the future requires a diversification of protein sources. The collapse of the climatic stability, and an ongoing rise in meat prices directly affect and put pressure on the global food-supply chain. Add to this local crises such as the war in Ukraine, the reality brings an acute need for the food industry to increase its protein sources,” the company’s founder and CEO, Dr. Yishai Mishor said in the statement. 

While other companies focus on taste, MTE concentrated on the texture of its innovative new meat alternative. That’s why the startup’s developers decided to use chickpeas in its new burger  because it is a rich source of protein, hypoallergenic, has a mild taste, and  it is very versatile to use, reported The Times of Israel.

MTE uses extrusion technology – a more environmental way to produce food – and Artificial Intelligence throughout the manufacturing process that turns chickpea protein flakes  into textured vegetarian protein burgers that mimic real meat.

“The ‘meat’ is frozen. You take it out of the freezer, put it on a pan, in the oven or even on the grill, and it cooks just like meat,” Mishor told The Jerusalem Post. “The fat kind of trickles down. It takes about the same time to cook. And, in the end, when you eat it, what you are putting in your mouth is something that has the same texture as meat - the juiciness, the firmness you would expect to have when you bite into a real meat burger.”

Other companies working with chickpeas
There are other food tech companies in Israel that are also working with chickpeas because of its high protein content, reported The Times of Israel. Chickpeas contain 20 percent protein but food tech companies are working to increase the protein content.

One startup, Chickap has developed a chickpea powder that has a protein content of 90 percent. The powder can be used in many types of vegan products including ice cream, pudding, and mayonnaise. Another company, InnovoPro, developed a chickpea concentrate with 70 percent protein. Chickpeas are not just good for hummus anymore.

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