Heura, the Spanish plant-based meat brand, launched a burger which is set to be the healthiest on the market, containing 64.25% less fat than a traditional beef burger (according to the USDA). The burger also contains 85.6% less saturated fat than beef, and has 11.3% more protein per calorie.
The biggest challenge facing the plant-based industry was creating a burger with the juiciness of beef without using high amounts of fat. To achieve this, Heura developed the first fat analogue made of extra virgin olive oil to create the Heura Burger 2.0.
With a growth of 460% in the last year, Heura is the fastest-growing 100% plant-based meat company in Europe. The brand aims to accelerate the protein transition by providing healthy, clean, and accessible products for those who want an ethical and sustainable alternative to meat.
Heura has a presence in ten countries, including Spain, France, Portugal, the Netherlands, Singapore, Hong Kong, Chile and most recently the UK.
Heura’s Mediterranian heritage is reflected in its ingredients - the burger is the first and only plant-based burger made with extra virgin olive oil, which is rich in monounsaturated fats. Studies show that eating foods rich in monounsaturated fatty acids instead of saturated fats improves blood cholesterol levels, which can decrease your risk of heart disease and may also help to decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes. In addition, olive oil is more sustainable than coconut or palm oil. The burger also contains sustainable pea protein concentrate and vegetable fibre. The brand prides itself on its clean label, which contains 40% fewer ingredients than the market average.
The uniqueness of Heura’s burger stems from its innovative fat analogue. Until now, the only way to obtain the juiciness of an animal burger in plant-based options was to use high amounts of fat from oils. This meant that many plant-based burgers focused only on delivering the sensorial experience of meat, while containing almost the same amount of fat as an animal burger. This solved the problem of the environmental impact of beef, but not the health issues posed by high intakes of saturated fat. Therefore, the global challenge of the plant-based industry was developing a burger that preserved the juiciness of meat while reducing the amount of fat from oils. The Heura R&D team found the solution to this problem after over 1,000 trials, and the new burger achieves the perfect balance of ingredients and ambiental factors to offer the meaty and juicy experience of an animal burger with only 6.5 grams of fat.
Marc Coloma, co-founder and CEO of Heura, said, “Accelerating the protein transition is my passion and it is in technology where I find solutions. Pioneers in the plant-based industry have always been our inspiration and we hope that this innovation boosts the plant-based meat category worldwide and leaves livestock obsolete."
Lorena Salcedo, New Product Development Manager at Heura, explained, “When we visualize the fat from a burger or the coconut oil in the supermarket, they are solid. This is because they both have high contents of saturated fat. We had to reproduce that with an oil that is liquid (monounsaturated) and minimise its use to reduce the amount of fat on the burger. We have analyzed both structures separately, the beef burger one and extra virgin olive oil to get the experience of one from the nutritional values of the other. When you see the essence of what you really need it’s easy to see the most efficient way to get there.”