Karana’s Pork Substitute Aims to Get a Slice of the Plant-Based Demand
Singapore start-up, Karana, is proud to be launching Asia’s first indulgent whole-plant based meat brand with its first product—‘pork’ made from young jackfruit. Delicious and sustainable, the whole-plant based ‘pork’ offers a guilt-free meat alternative that can be enjoyed without compromises.
At a time when food safety, security and supply chain issues are more important than ever, Karana’s solutions deliver a revolutionary new third-generation meat-alternative that is transparent, minimally processed and made from whole-plants with natural meat-like qualities.
Karana knows everything about their natural, sustainable ingredients—and about the people who grew them. Their first product is made of jackfruit that is sourced responsibly from small holder farms in Sri Lanka and transformed into a pork alternative that comes shredded or minced. No harsh chemicals, no heavy processing, just innovative mechanical techniques that enhance the texture of the naturally meat-like ingredient.
In its first phase, Karana is teaming up with six leading restaurants including Candlenut, Butcher Boy, Open Farm Community, Morsels, Atout and Grain Traders. Co-founder Blair Crichton, says, “We chose to launch in Singapore as it has such a high concentration of talented chefs and it’s a global leader in food tech innovation. We wanted to bring to market a plant-based ingredient that cooked and presented as a meat, taking jackfruit to the next level for restaurants.”
Born and raised in Hong Kong, Crichton is passionate about revolutionising the global food system, particularly in Asia, through this healthy and delicious whole-plant alternative to meat.
Crichton explains: “We saw a gap in the market for minimally processed plant-based alternatives that offer the right texture and are also versatile in the kitchen, so we worked with our team of experts to figure out an entirely new way of processing young jackfruit to make it more meat-like and easier to cook with, while keeping the integrity and benefits of the whole plant.”
Dan Riegler, Karana’s other founder, spent years working in agricultural supply chains in developing markets in South-East Asia, and across a wide range of startups in agriculture, food tech, and fintech.
Riegleradds: “Sustainability has never been more important, especially when it comes to food, and our first base ingredient was carefully chosen with this in mind. Jackfruit is an extremely efficient crop with high yields and low water usage making it friendly to smallholder farmers. It is typically grown intercropped, promoting biodiversity. 60 per cent of jackfruit is currently being wasted, a contributor to global warming, so with Karana we’ll be reducing that wastage, while working with farmers to support the local economy.”
Ultimately, Karana does things very differently, imagining a revolutionary new way by innovating around biodiverse ingredients found in Asia. By enhancing their naturally meat-like textures and blending them with new food technologies, the result is something authentic, original and delicious – an inspiring new way of eating whole-plant ingredients.