Q1: Dr. Knoch, what is your area of responsibility? What goals are you currently working on?
Dr. Achim Knoch: For LikeMeat I am responsible for research and development and therefore the recipes of the LikeMeat products as well as for the quality of the products and all things that belong to it (process, legal requirements / certifications etc.)
Q2: Where does the soy in the LikeMeat products come from?
In the past, choosing the right protein source was the biggest challenge in terms of raw material selection. We decided on China because we can obtain an unparalleled organic soy protein here. The taste is neutral or slightly nutty, so we do not have to mask our products with an aroma club. It is, as said, an organic quality that we use, which contributes significantly to the good taste. For example, no solvent (hexane) is used to degrease the soybeans, and this is the essential step in the production of soy protein.
Q3: Are there other reasons for China?
With the choice of China as the country of origin, we are sure that the soy GMO free (also gluten free) and that no rainforest was cut down for the cultivation. We know that China is always discussed critically, but we at LikeMeat do not want to generalize and say that everything from China is critical or even of inferior quality. We are open and act responsibly and have found a supplier here whom we now have a very good long-term supply relationship. In addition, we check the quality of the soy protein continuously by accredited external laboratories, which we would also do for European soy.
Q4: How do the ingredients of LikeMeat products differ from those of your competitors, for example wheat, eggs, preservatives?
We run a vegan factory, i.e. everything animal-like from meat to eggs to milk has no place here. Furthermore, we are gluten-free, and this also applies to our breaded nuggets and schnitzels, which was not easy to develop. At the first trials, the nuggets were practically „naked“ and the breading was next to it – certainly not a really promising development at that time. Today, we have it under control, we are focusing on a crispy cornflakes breading that stays where it belongs, on the nugget.
Q5: How are the ingredients processed particularly gently?
We are in the fresh and frozen sector, our products are pasteurized and not sterilized. Our sausages are also heated in the classic way in the cooking chamber.
For flavours, we only use natural flavours for e.g. the poultry flavour. Furthermore, we are free from the main allergens (with the exception of soya as the basic raw material).
Q6: Thank you for these insights and your time. Good luck for the future.