Summer is here and many vegans are also looking forward to the barbecue season. In that case, vegan sausages are put on the grill and the party starts. However, these meat-free products are not always a good and healthy choice. A study conducted in Germany has shown that many vegan products are contaminated. In many cases, mineral oil was found in the composition of those sausages. Recently, one magazine reported that it examined a total of 20 different products and they found out that the manufacturers use numerous additives to enhance the taste.
The test provided disappointing results on the taste also. None of the sausages tasted anything like real meat. To assess this, the scientists of the study had the products examined in a laboratory with the help of sensory experts. Usually, manufacturers use soy protein or tofu for vegan sausages. Seitan, vegetables, mushrooms, and sweet lupins were also found in the composition. The taste was good, but not perfect for all the tested products. To get a more intensive taste, the brands use aromas, flavor enhancers, and yeast extracts that contain glutamic acid. The high proportion of salt in the sausage was also striking.
Mineral Oil Residue
But the most negative thing that was found by the researchers was a residue of mineral oils. They found this in 18 of the 20 tested products. Four of them were even heavily contaminated. In the worst case, these impurities can even be carcinogenic. The fact that you can find such contents in food is nothing new. In the past, scientists often attributed it to the packaging. But now the scientists assume that the impurities come from the lubricating oil of production plants. If a company uses sunflower oil in the product, this could include mineral oil.
As if that were not enough, the researchers also discovered pesticides in someof the products. Only the products labeled as organic sausages did not have this. All in all, the results of the investigation were sobering. Only every fourth sausage was good or very good. However, the organic products performed better. Incidentally, the test winner was an algae sausage. With these products, many people find it easier to give up real meat. But that does not mean such products are a healthy alternative. On the contrary, these products are highly processed and regular consumption is not appropriate. Grilled vegetables or grilled tofu, on the other hand, are a good alternative for a barbecue evening.
Vegan foods are still on the rise. The growth rates are in the double-digit range. Many manufacturers are trying to profit from this boom. Some of them already generate more sales with their vegan meat alternatives than with their classic meat products. They benefit from the reputation of vegan foods. However, these can be healthy if they are not heavily processed. Substitute products also contain many other ingredients, such as salt, palm oil, sugar, artificial flavours and thickeners. It is therefore essential to check the composition of the product before buying. That is the only way for consumers to be sure that they are making healthy choices.