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Vegetarian chicken that tastes just like original chicken!

Scientists at the University of Missouri may have finally cracked the code to realistic tasting fake chicken with the first soy product.

Lots of meat substitutes are on the market right now, such as the ever-popular Tofurky. But there isn't one that tastes like chicken or, more importantly to these researchers, has the texture of real meat.

Fu-Hung Hsieh, a professor of biological engineering and food science at MU, and colleagues have now created the first soy product that can be flavoured to taste like chicken, but also breaks apart in your mouth the way chicken does.

The fake meat is made by mixing up a batter of soy protein, wheat flour and water, and then pushing the batter through a high-heat extruder.

Hsieh said that the mixture firms up and develops a stringy, chicken-like texture.

Although the team hasn't perfected the taste yet, the texture seems to be right on.

"But the way the meat broke across my teeth felt exactly how boneless chicken breast does," Discovery News quoted Time Magazine's John Cloud, who visited the laboratory where the soy-chicken is being made, as saying.

"It was slightly fibrous but not fatty. The soy wasn't mashed together as in a veggie burger; rather, it was more idiosyncratic, uneven, al dente-in other words, meatlike," he added.

The research has been published in the Journal of Food and Agricultural Chemistry, Journal of Food Science, and Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society.

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