Plant-based fake meat is an ultra-processed manufactured food. Although positioned as an alternative to red meat, it is not nutritionally interchangeable with natural, nutritious and sustainable Australian red meat.
Fake meat products accounts for less than one per cent of total fresh meat and alternative protein sales in Australia. Unlike all-natural Australian red meat, around half of the fake meat consumed is imported from overseas. (Source)
Fake meat products generally come from a plant source like soybeans or wheat, or even fermented fungi. Manufacturers use imitation flavours, colours and perfumes to hide things like bitterness, dryness and astringency and to mask the earthy flavours of vegetables, cereals and beans. (Source)
Additives are also required to improve the texture and taste of the fake meat, whilst colours and enhancers are also needed to give the end product a meat-like appearance. (Source)