Superbom, the Seventh-day Adventist manufacturer of health food products in Brazil, has launched a new product — its Gourmet Burger. According to the food company’s marketing department, this new vegan option 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 a 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.”
According to chemical engineer Cristina Ferreira, the product development process took a year. One of the challenges was to reach the texture that mimics the traditional meat-based burger, she said, as well as finding the ideal packaging.
“The alternative was to import a solution that would aid in preservation, guaranteeing the absence of preservatives,” she explained.
Ferreira said that the company invested heavily in technology to increase the product shelf-life without using any chemical additives. “We wanted to preserve food and maintain the sensory characteristics of the burger,” she said.
The new product is available in a frozen and a chilled version.
Superbom chief marketing officer David Oliveira said the company investment has been significant, even after deciding on the packaging.
“We have invested 9 million Brazilian reals [US$2.28 million] since then, and continue to expand the already extensive portfolio,” Oliveira said. “The 13 pea-based options we launched last year have played a key role in continuing to develop substitutes for meat and reaching the ideal formula of the new burger.”
Company nutrition experts shared that the 4-ounce (114-gram) burger contains 15 grams of protein and a reduced amount of calories. They also explained that the new vegan burger is high in dietary fiber and rich in vitamins A, B9, and B12. “Iron and zinc complete the list of nutritional benefits,” they said.