Middle East Focus: Camel meat palatability, palm oil exports, Eat Just's plans for the region and more feature in our round-up

By Pearly Neo

- Last updated on GMT

Camel meat palatability, palm oil exports, Eat Just's plans for the region and more feature in this edition of Middle East Focus. ©Getty Images
Camel meat palatability, palm oil exports, Eat Just's plans for the region and more feature in this edition of Middle East Focus. ©Getty Images

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Camel meat palatability, palm oil exports, Eat Just's plans for the region and more feature in this edition of Middle East Focus.

Overcoming the humps: How novel packaging and processing tech can make camel meat more palatable

There is plenty of scope in the camel meat industry for better packaging, processing and preservation techniques to increase meat quality, consumer acceptance and exports, according to a new review.

Camel meat is an ethnic food consumed across the arid regions of Middle East and North-East Africa, and could be a potential alternative red meat for human consumption worldwide due to its its nutritional profile.

According to researchers in India and UAE, current methods such as ageing, low-temperature storage, and pre-treatment with antioxidants have been implemented to improve the quality and shelf life of camel meat.

Very limited research is available about the use of novel pre-treatments, packaging, and processing techniques that can improve the consumer acceptability of camel meat​,” they wrote in Journal of Ethnic Foods.

Expanding palm oil horizons: Malaysia taps trans-fat free and cost advantages to spotlight Middle East as major new export market

The Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) is focusing on the Middle Eastern region as a potential major new export market for Malaysian palm oil, and believes that its trans-fat free properties as well as cost advantages can give it an edge over other edible oils in the region.

Earlier this year, MPOC CEO Datuk Dr Wan Zawawi Wan Ismail had already revealed to us the council’s plans to diversify Malaysian palm oil export markets beyond depending on its two current major markets of China and India.

MPOC Deputy CEO Belvinder Sron stressed this objective again in a recent MPOC virtual event focusing on palm oil trends and potential in the Middle East, saying that the council was looking at the developing the region further as a major export market.

“MPOC is increasing our efforts to increase market share in the Middle Eastern region as it is very important to us,”​ Sron told the floor.

“Overall, the Middle East imported over six million MT of oils and fats last year of which 41% was palm oil, and we believe there is a lot of potential for further growth here."

Eat Just in the Middle East: Firm unveils plant-based egg and cultivated meat growth strategy – Exclusive CEO interview

The CEO of Eat Just has revealed how the firm is gearing up to expand its plant-based egg and cultivated meat business in the Middle East, in an exclusive interview following its recent announcement to establish a hub in Qatar.

Located in the Umm Alhoul Free Zone, the hub will comprise of a large-scale facility for Eat Just’s GOOD Meat, its cultivated meat division, and potentially a protein processing facility for JUST Egg, the company’s plant-based egg division.

According to Josh Tetrick, co-founder and CEO, the firm is committed to manufacturing and distributing both meat and egg products in the Middle East region. The company has sold the plant-based equivalent of 160 million eggs worldwide, and is looking to increase brand awareness and presence in this region.

At the minute, its regional presence is small. The company entered Qatar through an importer this year, and is available in small retailers such as Mega Mart in Doha.

Unfavourable habits: Lebanese adults ate more sweets and snacks, less fruit and veg during lockdown

Lebanese consumers had a lower intake of water, fruit, and vegetables, and a higher consumption of sweets and snacks during the COVID-19 lockdown, according to a new study.

The research also revealed Lebanese adults were consuming more homemade meals, and eating more meals throughout the day during the pandemic.

Lebanon entered its first lockdown in March 2020, which was extended to May 2020.

In this study published in Frontiers in Nutrition​, researchers from UAE, UK, Lebanon, Jordan and Australia wanted to understand the impact of the lockdown on eating habits, in the country with an already unstable economic and political situation.

Hemp exports: India Hemp Organics opens up food and cosmetics trade with North America, Oceania and GCC

One of India’s pioneering hemp companies, India Hemp Organics (IHO), is gearing up to export its nutritional, medical and skin care products containing hemp and CBD products this year.

Its nutritional products consisting of hemp protein powder, hemp seed oil and hemp hearts, as well as topical CBD oil skin care products will be available in US, Canada, Australia and the GCC region.

The medicinal products are full-spectrum CBD oils containing THC, a psychoactive compound which is still largely illegal in many countries, so will not be exported.

Its hemp foods and skin care products contain CBD, a non-psychoactive compound, which makes them export-friendly.

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