A mooncake stuffed with vegetarian meat will enter the Chinese market for the first time in September, Chongqing Morning Post reported.
The artificial meat, made from soy protein, is designed to imitate animal meat in its color, smell, taste and texture, said Li Jian, leader of the research team with Beijing Technology and Business University that co-developed the mooncake with Starfield, a plant-based meat brand.
The first batch of 3,000 mooncakes will be sold at Starfield outlets in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, during the Mid-Autumn Festival, which falls on Sept. 13 this year.
About 34.4 percent of the total 44,000 respondents said they would like to try the mooncake, according to a poll conducted on Weibo, a Chinese micro-blogging website.
Replacing animal meat with artificial meat will reduce the consumption of natural resources brought by animal husbandry and guide consumers towards a healthier diet.
Such substitutes are necessary because animal meat can’t suffice the growing global population, which is expected to reach 9.6 billion by 2050, according to United Nations estimations.