Usually when you eat something like a chicken leg or a T-Bone steak, the aim is to avoid chomping down on the bone. But what if the bone could be part of the meal itself?
A Finnish startup SuperGround says it’s come up with a way to get even more meat out of chicken and fish: by grounding up the bones and mixing them them into products like nuggets, bites or meatballs.
While it might sound a bit peculiar, it could be one of the potential solutions to lowering the environmental cost of meat production, as well as reducing the cost of the product for the consumer.
Speaking to Ray Foley on Today FM, founder of SuperGround, Santtu Vekkeli explained how the process works. A mixture of vegetable protein and chicken bones with some meat attached is heat-shocked and then passed through an extruder to create a bone-vegetable-meat blend that can be mixed with ground chicken meat.
With food waste being a major issue in both commercial and domestic kitchens, this is taking the nose to tail approach and switching it up another gear. Santtu mentions that chicken skin is eaten and often not wasted, while more chefs are cooking using fish heads. In fact likes of canned mackerel and other small fish already have small soft bones in them as the ultra hot canning process softening the bones so they become edible.
It's important to note, that the aim of SuperGround isn't to get us eating slabs of this paste! It is instead incorporated with the protein into products such as chicken nuggets or meatballs, and there is no difference in how it looks or how it tastes. Nutritionally, there is the benefit too of extra calcium and vitamins that ordinarily wouldn't be present in the meat itself.
Could we be seeing products like these in the supermarkets sometime soon? Would you be interested in trying?
Press play below to hear the fascinating chat in full.
Food with Ray Foley, thanks to Cully & Sully, Great Food & Soup-er conversation.