MailOnline tries the world's first plant-based 'beef' loin

Would YOU pay £40 for a vegan tenderloin? MailOnline tries the world’s first plant-based ‘beef’ loin – and it tastes JUST like the real deal

  • Slovenian company Juicy Marbles makes fake meat cuts for veggies and vegans 
  • This new whole loin is good for broths, sandwiches, roasts, wellingtons and more
  • It’s the firm’s second product following its posh plant-based filet mignon steaks


Would you pay £40 for a vegan loin?

Would you pay £40 for a vegan loin?

Now share your opinion

Whether it’s for health reasons or to help save the planet, many Brits want to cut down on red meat.

But perhaps due to a lack of exciting alternatives, it can be hard to resist roast beef and all the trimmings at the weekend. 

To make it easier, Slovenian company Juicy Marbles has released a new vegan ‘meat’ product – the world’s first plant-based loin, mostly made from soy. 

MailOnline tried the 765g slab of ultra-realistic meat substitute, which costs a hefty 45 euros (£40). 

Whole-cut loin is the second product from Juicy Marbles, a Slovenian company that makes plant-based food, and it’s designed for vegans and meat eaters alike


– Water

– Soy protein

– Wheat protein

– Sunflower oil

– Beetroot powder

– Yeast extract

– Iron supplement 

– Vitamin B12 

– Thickeners and emulsifiers

Nutrition (per 100g):

– Energy: 175 kcal

– Fat: 7.2g

– Carbohydrate: 1.8g

– Protein: 22.8g   

Getting the loin delivered costs an extra 15 euros (£13), bringing the total to 60 euros (£52), although the firm has told me it’s coming to UK supermarkets soon. 

Customers can also opt to buy three of these loins for 120 euros with free delivery, which is £105 (or £35 per loin). 

Looking online, delis and supermarkets are selling a whole kilogram or more of real beef for as low as £30, so this is a seriously expensive cut of (not) meat. 

According to Juicy Marbles, the beef-style loin is perfect for broths, sandwiches, roasts, wellingtons, ‘meat plates’ and more. 

‘This is the biggest, most insulting piece of plant-meat ever conceived and home-chefs most faithful companion,’ it says. 

‘Interior of the meat may be red or pink when fully cooked, but this is perfectly desirable, as it will have the texture of a perfect, medium-rare steak.’ 

Juicy Marbles has already released the first plant-based filet mignon steak, with prominent lines of fat marbling made out of sunflower oil. 

To make its fake meat, the firm doesn’t use 3D printing, nor does it grow it in a lab, unlike several rival firms. 

Instead, it uses secretive patent-pending technology called the ‘Meat-o-Matic 9000’, which layers proteins into linear fibers, mimicking muscle structures. 

It claims some vegans won’t eat its products because they remind them too much of real meat, even though they’re completely plant-based.

The primary ingredient of this new whole-cut loin is ‘plant structure’ – comprising water, soy protein and wheat protein. 

At 45 euros (£40), plus 15 euros (£13) extra for delivery, this is a seriously expensive cut of (not) meat

The firm says: ‘You can roast, grill, broil, pan-fry and carve it into filets, chunks, or slices. It’s raw and unseasoned, giving you full creative control’ 

The ‘meat’ loin even bleeds thanks to the water and beetroot, which has been added to give it a deep red beefy colour 

The tenderloin can be cut into chunks, slices or fillets, and cooked in the oven or frying pan. Pictured, Juicy Marbles promo image 

Read more: MailOnline tries Juicy Marbles filet mignon with lines of fake animal fat  

Juicy Marbles says on its website: ‘The experience is exquisite. The texture is firm, yet velvety’

Other ingredients include thickener, emulsifier, vitamin B12, and ferrous gluconate, which is an iron supplement. 

There’s also sunflower oil for a bit of fat and beetroot powder, to give it a nice deep red meaty colour – but there’s no added salt. 

Taking it out of its packet, it looks very much like a hunk of beef – albeit browner than it looks in Juicy Marbles’ promo shots.

When I hold it, the loin even ‘bleeds’ thanks to the presence of the water and beetroot. 

I search the packaging for instructions on how to cook this giant piece of ‘meat’, but strangely it doesn’t have any. 

The closest it gets is ‘always cook to an interior temperature of 165°F’, ‘do not overcook’ and ‘cooking time may vary depending on equipment’.

There are some suggestions though – roast, grill, broil or pan-fry and carve it into filets, chunks or slices. 

I decide to slice the loin into slices and pan fry them, although I don’t add seasoning because I want to experience the flavour unadorned. 

There doesn’t seem to be quite as much sunflower oil ‘fat’ in this product compared to its fake filet mignon, and as a result the cooking experience is quite different.

Despite a good amount of hot oil lining my pan, the slices of loin get stuck to the bottom and soon fall apart. 

After about 10 minutes of cooking I have a pile of crusty fibres, which I serve with roast potatoes, leafy greens and bearnaise sauce. 

Things start to fall apart: Despite a good amount of hot oil lining my pan, the slices of loin get stuck

Rather than using 3D printing or scaffolding, Juicy Marbles uses a patent-pending machine to align layers of protein ‘fibre’ from the bottom up. This results in a texture that imitates the fibres found in beef tissue, resulting in juicy chunks that ‘softly tear away’

The Juicy Marbles loin fibres served with crispy roast potatoes, leafy greens and bearnaise sauce

Just like the filet mignon, the loin is deep and meaty, and where it’s been browned by the pan it’s ultra-crispy – so much like real beef. 

Thankfully, I didn’t cook the whole loin and have some leftover, which I save to investigate how well it holds up to a bit of slow cooking. 

I break the loin into fibres and brown it off with some onions before making a bit of a ragout for some potato gnocchi. 

Of course, the loin fibres don’t give the sauce the rich and meaty mouthfeel that beef would, but impressively, they hold their shape and don’t disintegrate.

The loin’s primary ingredient is ‘plant structure’ – which is water, soy protein and wheat protein 

The fake meat loin fibres held up well to a bit of slow-cooking, just like those from real beef 

Juicy Marbles is attracting vegans and meat eaters who want to cut down by creating cuts that mimic the real deal . Pictured, its beef-style loin 

Juicy Marbles’ vegan  filet mignon steak (pictured) has prominent lines of fat marbling made out of sunflower oil

Overall, this loin is a really great product for stuff like stews and sauces, and it’s also the perfect shape for wrapping with pasty for a vegan beef wellington. 

However, if you really want to put fake meat on a pedestal and wow your diners with a posh steak dinner, I recommend the company’s fake filet mignon. 

The filet mignon has more lines of fat that help it cook in a pan; in comparison, the loin is ‘leaner’ and more ‘muscly’, good for a wider range of dishes. 

This is about as realistic as plant-based meat gets, and blows the competition off the supermarket shelves – although the price will be off-putting for many. 

Switching to plant-based meat can help the environment, experts say

According to scientists, switching to plant-based products that mimic real meat can help the planet. 

Livestock farming at the current rate hurt the environment in a number of different ways.

Cows, pigs and other farm animals release huge amounts of methane into the atmosphere, which is a greenhouse gas and contributes to global warming.

Raising livestock also means converting forests into agricultural land, meaning CO2-absorbing trees are being cut down, further adding to climate change.  

Juicy Marbles is just one firm creating plant-based vegan products, which are increasingly taking space on the supermarket shelves  

Factory farms and crop growing also requires massive amounts of water, with 542 litres of water being used to produce just a single chicken breast.

As well as this, the nitrogen-based fertiliser used on crops adds to nitrous oxide emissions. 

Nitrous oxide is around 300 times more effective at trapping heat in the atmosphere.

These fertilisers can also end up in rivers, further adding to pollution. 

Scientists have recently suggested that bringing plant-based meat to public institutions such as schools and prisons can help trigger a wider transition amongst the general public. 

‘Favouring alternative proteins in public procurement policies globally could help to bring forward tipping points in their adoption,’ they say in a report. 

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