HerbYvore: a Sustainably Nutritious Plant-based range
Inspiring more to #BeaHerbYvore to impact health and the world sustainably
HerbYvore, a downstream brand of Singapore-based agri-commodity company, Agrocorp International, was set up in 2021 as an extension of the business to utilise the agri-products that is processed by one of the company’s protein extraction plants, to produce end consumer plant-based products. R&D in product development took a while and it was only in the recent Food & Hotel Asia 2023 (ASEAN’s most international food & drinks trade event) held in late April, did we have a taste of their products.
The brand was built based on its tagline of offering food products that are “sustainably nutritious”. As such, being plant-based is not enough, there must be a nutritional component for each product that would benefit the end consumer. This is important, given that results from recent consumer surveys revealed that more than half of the respondents choose plant-based options for health reasons.
Lena Tan, Head of Marketing & Business Development at HerbYvore shared that giving consumers food products that are sustainably produced in its process and its ingredients (meatless, dairy-free) may not be enough, and that we need to consider the motivations of choosing a plant-based diet, whether it is on a flexitarian basis or a daily basis, and health is an area that is often overlooked. All of Herbivore’s products contain protein from soy-free sources, for example, peas. Soy-based plant protein products are in abundance in the market and from our understanding from nutritionists, it is better to consume plant protein from a variety of sources for the best nutrition. Also, in recent years, consumers are starting to seek out soy-free options that are allergen and GMO-free. Besides utilising plant proteins that are soy-free and nut-free, HerbYvore’s products are also GMO-free and vegan-friendly.
HerbYvore utilises pea protein extracted by Agrocorp’s plant protein extraction facility in Canada as a raw material to manufacture its products. In time, the company may consider using other types of plant proteins. Peas have a high nutritional value and health benefits. Not only are they high in protein, fibre, vitamins, and minerals, they are also non-allergenic and environmentally sustainable. Legumes like peas are plants that contribute to nitrogen fixation, containing symbiotic bacteria called Rhizobia within nodules in their root systems, producing nitrogen compounds. Nitrogen is a major component of protein and a required nutrient for plants. Peas, or other legumes, in the crop rotation usually lead to lower needs for mineral and organic nitrogen fertilisers, which contribute to 25% of the total direct greenhouse gas emissions by agriculture in the EU.
HerbYvore offers the Plant Protein Block, a versatile protein source that can be used to create a variety of sweet and savoury plant-based recipes. The Plant Protein Block looks like a block of tofu made with peas, with each block of 250g containing 30g of pea protein. It is high in calcium, contains dietary fibre, is gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, GMO-free, dairy-free and also Halal-certified. Some of the recipes the protein block can make include dairy-free cream sauce pasta, dairy-free pesto, dairy-free chocolate parfait, ‘meatless’ meatballs and more. HerbYvore has created how-to guides for users to create a variety of plant-based recipes with just this one key ingredient, and the recipes can be accessed via HerbYvore’s website and socials.
FHA’23 also saw the soft launch of HerbY-Cheese, the first plant-based, vegan-friendly, nut-free cheese range developed and made in Singapore. Most vegan cheeses do not contain protein, so it is good to see that the HerbY-Cheese range contains pea protein. Also, these cheeses, being plant-based, do not have the health issues associated with traditional dairy cheese. HerbY-Cheese is available in familiar varieties like HerbY-Cheese Cheddar and HerbY-Cheese Mozzarella, and HerbYvore will follow up with the production of Just Like Parme (their rendition of a plant-based parmesan cheese) in the next two months. With dairy frequently quoted as the third food group highest in carbon emissions, the availability of HerbY-Cheese could be the cheese we need without sacrificing the taste and nutrition that end consumers value.
Lena further emphasises that the plant-based industry is growing rapidly, and it’s crucial for companies to differentiate themselves within the market, yet also collaborate with key stakeholders like other plant-based food manufacturers, government groups and organisations such as Good Food Institute, to grow awareness of the alternative protein sector and increase adoption to make a positive impact on health as well as the health of our planet.
HerbYvore is a Singapore plant-based brand that uses non-soy, plant proteins as its key ingredients.
Promising “Sustainably Nutritious” vegan-friendly food and food ingredients, the company is committed to the sustainability of the health of their consumers, and sustainability to the planet in its sourcing and production.