Tempeh dates back several centuries to the island of Java in Indonesia. It is a naturally fermented product that was accidentally discovered when the soybeans were left to ferment and turned into a firm cake-like block, which was found to be easy to cook and the absorbed flavors quickly became a favorite among locals. Over decades and centuries of use, it has become known as a “miracle food” which has positively solved serious problems such as child malnutrition in Indonesia, especially among the poor.
Like any food or ingredient that has stood the test of time, it has real merit and has benefited generations of users. It is popular with vegans and vegetarians because it contains vitamin B12 and is a complete source of protein. This means that it contains all nine essential amino acids that your body needs for healthy bones and muscles. In fact, it’s the world’s best-kept protein food secret. Its versatility, appealing texture and nutritional profile make it a perfect ingredient for Indian cuisine.
Speaking about the challenges of the plant protein market in India, Siddharth Ramasubramanian, Founder and CEO of Vegolution, owner of the ready-to-bake tempeh brand Hello Tempayy, said, “We only see opportunities because at Hello Tempayy, we don’t define it as the vegetable protein market. We take a look at the needs and wants of consumers who fall into two distinct groups: first, vegetarians looking for more food options to increase their protein intake, and second, non-vegetarians who are trying. to reduce their meat consumption for health or ethical reasons. From this point of view, we see a large audience who crave new products that satisfy their taste buds without compromising on nutrition. It is also widely accepted today among health experts that a diet consisting primarily of plant-based foods is better for long-term health.
The role of government in protein nutrition
Raising awareness of the importance of protein and other supporting nutrients in the daily diet can yield very positive long-term results for India, which ranks among the lowest in the world in terms of per capita protein consumption. . Today, with the increase in consumption of social media and OTT content, information can reach more people at a faster rate. Digital commerce has also grown exponentially during Covid, providing easier access for customers.
The government is already doing a remarkable job of raising awareness about health, yoga and nutrition. Siddharth is of the opinion: “I have no doubt that the central government will push this program even further as India moves towards the recovery phase of Covid. Over the past year, health and nutrition have been the center of attention and we don’t see that changing. It is the role of private enterprise to make great products that consumers love while fixing them based on their affordability.
Dr Sowmya Bharani, PhD and RD Nutritionist, Nutrigeneus says: “India being a predominantly vegetarian country, nearly 3/4 of the population suffers from protein deficiency. Women and athletes are at greater risk for protein deficiency. “
Is vegetable protein a good source of protein?
Dr Sowmya explains, “Vegetable protein may not contain the complete amino acid profile necessary to be considered a complete protein or a good quality protein. Therefore, most of the protein of plant origin needs to be combined with other plant sources to give it a full nutritional profile, for example grains and legumes are combined to make a higher quality protein.
Soy protein is made from soybeans, so it is a concentrated source of protein. Dr Sowmya adds, “Proteins derived from soybeans are a complete protein, which means it contains all of the amino acids necessary for good health. A lot of things are made from soy, including soy flour and tempeh. Tempeh is a fermented soy product and offers additional benefits such as improved gut health and easier digestibility.
Soy is also the richest source of isoflavones. These are chemicals called phytoestrogens that have anti-cancer and antioxidant properties.
Hello Tempayy products are own-branded and are made with just three basic ingredients – non-GMO soybeans, water, and the brand’s fermentation culture. The soybeans come from farmers in Madhya Pradesh. All the ingredients used to make the marinades are natural and come from India.
Vegolution aims to fill the protein deficit in India with tasty vegetarian / vegan food products. Siddharth says, “To achieve this goal, we have identified tempeh as the ideal basic ingredient that delivers at all levels. Our plans are twofold: first to introduce new tempeh products to all occasions, from snacks to main meals in retail and e-commerce, and second, to make tempeh available to restaurants across the country. across India. “
Nutritional benefits of tempeh / per 100 g
Energy – 178 kcal
Protein – 19 g – 35% RDA
Total fat – 6.8 g
Saturated fat – 1.4 g
Cholesterol – 0 mg
Trans fat – 0 mg
Carbohydrates – 10.1 g – 8% RDI
Dietary fiber – 8.5 g – 27% RDA
Sugars – 0 g