It is the first time a process has been developed that can recreate the particular fibrous quality of poultry meat, in addition to its colour and flavour.
“In order to produce a more realistic product, we had to tweak the process and add extra fibre to give the soy a stringy feeling that tears into irregular, coarse fibres similar to chicken,” said its inventor, Professor Fu-Hung Hsieh.
Adding to the soy’s chicken-like texture and appearance is moisture content of up to 75 per cent, far higher than traditional meat substitutes.
The “chicken” starts life as soy flour, from which protein is extracted, before it is cooked at high temperature and squeezed through a pressurised tube to give it shape.
Cholesterol-free and with nutritional components that can help maintain healthy bones and prevent certain cancers, it is also healthier than your average chook.
With more than 40 billion chickens slaughtered globally every year, the soy chicken could save the lives of countless birds, as well as cutting down on the water, energy, land and greenhouse gas use associated with poultry farming around the world.