By Risa Putri
Are you ready to start a new healthy life without consuming meat? Or, do you want to do it but you can’t because you’re still in love with the sensation of tasty and juicy meat in your mouth? Well, prepare yourself, because…. you can get both of those now! Yes, that’s right, you can be healthy without consuming meat anymore, yet you still can taste it anytime you want. This radical change of food with a tasty meatlike or fishlike bite is fully produced in Holland by a Dutch company, Ojah b.v. They sold their products under a brand name called Plenti®. Plenti® has gain its credibility by receiving awards in Holland for ‘Best Meat Alternative’, and also by achieving the first-prize winner in Dutch SME Innovation Top 100 awards 2012 from the ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation. Judging from those incredible achievements, it will be more interesting if we take a closer look of Plenti® and its advances in the food technology.
The history of Plenti® is started in the year of 2007, when one of the Ojah b.v. founder, Polymer Technologist Frank Giezen, found a technique to change the texture of plant-based protein based on the principle of synthetic monomer polimerization. His invention becomes a breakthrough in the food industry in which the plant-based ingredients could have a meat-like taste. After that, He decided to build Ojah in 2009 with his friends, Jeroen Willemsen and Wouter Jansen, makes them becoming a perfect team which consist of technological, entrepreneurial, and commercial expertise.
Founder of Ojah Frank Giezen, Jeroen Willemsen and Wouter Jansen (from left to right).
In advance, what is the secret recipe behind Plenti®? The recipe simply lies on the mixing of compressed flour and water in such a sophisticated technology. It is made from vegetable proteins which produced similiar struture to meat when it’s heated at high temperature. There are two products of Plenti® at the moment, Plenti®Pure and Plenti®Prepared. Plenti®Pure has neutral taste and colour, gluten free, high moisture, protein rich, low fat and salt, no preservatives, rich in dietary fibers, and ideal for further processing. On the other hand, Plenti®Prepared is a ready-to-use strips, chunks, cubes, or slices, which have been flavoured or marinated.
Dishes made from Plenti® which look like the real meat, world’s largest vegetarian shoarma pita-bread (above) and shashlik (below).
Currently, Plenti® has its own production facility in Octhen (Dutch Province of Gelderland) with production capacity up to 800 tons per year and maximum capacity up to 2400 tons per year. The market for vegetable proteins in Holland itself has increased by 300% since 2002. About 77% of Dutch population is undergoing flexitarian diet by replacing meat during dinner at least once a week. On an article by Liza Barnes, health educator, it is stated that people who eat less meat are less likely to gain weight than people who eat more meat, less prone to cancer, and suffer from fewer heart diseases. If this positive trend continues, it is clear that the advance of food technology developed by Plenti® has made major contribution in creating a new way of living healthy life.