Food tech start-up Karana unveils “realistic” restaurant quality jackfruit-based meat
23 Mar 2022 --- Singapore-based food tech start-up Karana has launched a meat alternative based on jackfruit. It will feature on menus in San Francisco restaurants.
The company has developed a suite of meat products made from whole plants that feature jackfruit, a fruit from the fig, mulberry and breadfruit family indigenous to Southeast Asia. The assortment includes plant-based ground meat and a meatless version of classic pork gyoza (potsticker).
Karana uses a proprietary process to capture the whole plant’s nutrients and natural meat-like qualities.
“Our mission is to take ingredients (like jackfruit) that support farmers’ soil health and make them an incredible, diverse textural and flavor experience for use in the kitchen,” says Dan Riegler, co-founder, Karana.
Serving up plant-based on the menu
Karana’s launch follows the company’s additional injection of capital via a seed extension round, which has supported its expansion into the restaurant market and continued R&D efforts.
In 2021, the company expanded into Hong Kong. This is the first time the company’s offerings have been available on menus. Besides being vegan and soy- and gluten-free, Karana jackfruit meat products are low in cholesterol, high in fiber and minimally processed. It contains no artificial colors or flavors.
“The company's original goal was always to have people taste Karana through chefs first. It’s the ultimate way to experience a new ingredient and in line with our goal of making every customer interaction with our product a culinary experience,” says Blair Crichton, co-founder, Karana.
Karana’s meat alternatives will feature in Cantonese cuisine, Michelin-starred dishes, and Nepalese tapas. It is popular with chefs due to its ability to “pick up” flavors and sauces like conventional meat. Karana will launch gyoza in the APAC region later this spring.
During the influx of investment in alternative proteins in Asia in 2020, Karana Foods launched a whole plant char siew bao and a traditional barbecue pork bun in Chinese cuisine.
By Inga de Jong
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