The Naming or Classification of Meat, Meat Hybrids and Meat Substitutes


The video was inspired by endless questions received on the subject of “equivalent”, also sent to the NRCS. Having been part of the replacement of meat proteins in meat products with milk proteins in 1982, followed by soya concentrates, followed by soya isolates, followed by egg albumen, followed by insect proteins, followed by proper Nutritional Information panels, followed by truthful quantitive ingredients declaration in the rest of the world, I can assure you that I am 100% up to date with the industry and the RSA meat processing industry. However, nothing is equivalent to anything else, particularly not in the finest details of the amino acid composition.

Related to the current legislation in South Africa, serious questions must be asked. I give some examples below.

The Question of Equivalence

The entire “equivalent” thinking has to be discarded. The meat content, fat content, soya content, MDM content, etc., has to be quantified in the ingredients panel. The nutrient information, protein content, fat content, carbohydrate content and energy content, belongs in the Nutritional Information panel, irrespective of the source of the specific nutrient. No recipe has to change, the industry simply has to come clean and fit in with the rest of the planet.

This goes for SANS1675 and SANS885. This remains my answer, to whoever is asking. My history and qualifications speak for themself and I do not know a single scientist who will make a fool of himself to disagree. Hiding soya as meat does not go down well with reporters who love to create scandals. They are also asking the same question. They get the same answer from me. Apart from a recipe, a product has an ingredients declaration, the protein sources quantified all over the world, a nutritional information panel and above all, a name. What on earth is wrong with a name like “Mechanically deboned Chicken and Soya Vienna”? It is the truth. Why hide it?

A Simple, Neat Aproach to Naming Meat Products?

Below is a simple and logical way to name meat products. Compare this with the confusion brought about by the current legislation.

1. They may be sold raw, fermented, cooked, chilled or hot, or maybe sold frozen before or after cooking or blanching. Simply say what you did.

2. When it contains meat, edible offal and/or natural binders such as skin, sinews, blood proteins, gelatin and collagen, declare the % of the 3 main components. The values may be zero.

3. The protein content must be 18.75% for GREEN, 12.5% for ORANGE and 6.25% for RED, with max fat content of 25%, with the actual fat content declared.

4. They may be sold on the bone or boneless, in a casing or skinless.

5. The products may contain any foodstuff and the additives listed in Codex.

6. Name must contain appropriate prefix, i.e. Carrot Sausage.

One can see the flaws in the current thinking by starting with the definition of total meat. As the legislation currently stands, lean meat and fat have the same value in total meat. One is, however, a protein and the other is a triglyceride. They definitely do not have the same value. If we omit fat in our calculations (apart from declaring it), total meat disappears.

Another example. Let’s say that meat products can be made from any of the food in Codex as long as we achieve a certain protein percentage. Let’s generalise further and change “meat products” to “food products.” Viewed as such, any reference to it can be scrapped because it is logical that everything in Codex 192 is food and the additives are properly described, whether the meat is raw, cooked, whole, comminuted and frozen in the different states. The sentence proposed above also disappears.

Good legislation is written, not by saying as much as possible, but to be as brief/ concise as possible. One sentence that states what something is (should be), is worth many books written about “what it is not.” The many books are however infinitely more confusing than a clear, succinct statement of what something is. In the video below, Francois gives a refreshingly sane and simple way of how foods should be classified.

A Simple Way to Understand the Issues


There is no need to complicate the issue. It is a matter of simple honesty and communicating to the consumer in a way that makes sense to everybody. By complicated legislation, we are confusing something that is very easy to understand namely what the food is, what is all contained in the recipe and how nutritious it is. If there is any confusion about this, please contact us.


Anyone with questions can leave a comment here or mail Francois at the mail address below.

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