It looks and tastes like the real thing -“Vegetable honey” manufactured from molecular copies –

Have you ever wondered why vegans do not eat honey? Vegans choose not to consume animal products based on the principle of “veganism,” which states that “animals should not be exploited for human purposes.” Therefore, they do not eat honey because they believe that harvesting the honey that bees work so hard to collect is against veganism.

Honeybees play an important role in the food system. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that about one-third of the food consumed by humans comes from “insect-pollinated plants” such as vegetables and fruits, and that 80% of the pollination of insect-pollinated plants is done by honeybees. On the other hand, in recent years, the honeybee population has been seriously declining due to a variety of factors, including destruction of honeybee habitats, climate change, the spread of toxic pesticides, and hive-destroying bee colony syndrome.

Against this backdrop, Melibio Inc., based in California, USA, has developed “bee-free” honey, which is produced without the involvement of bees. Produced from molecular copies of real honey and containing plant pollen as an ingredient, the vegetable honey looks, tastes, and functions just like conventional honey, according to the company.

The company’s co-founder and CEO, Darko Mandich, has worked in the honey production industry for eight years, where he learned about supply chain issues and challenges that threaten bees and realized the need for sustainable honey production. The company’s use of innovative science and technology that does not burden or impact the precious bees attracted attention when it was selected as one of the ” Best Inventions of 2021 ” by the American news magazine “TIME” in November 2021. The company plans to partner with Narayan Foods, an organic food manufacturer, to begin selling the product in 75,000 stores in Europe in 2023.

In recent years, the vegan population has continued to grow globally; according to 2019 Tourism Agency data, the number of vegetarians, including vegans, in 100 major countries and territories is increasing by nearly 1% annually. There are a variety of reasons for choosing vegan/vegetarianism, including health reasons, environmental concerns, as well as religious, animal welfare, and concerns about the food crisis.

While the market is expected to expand in Japan, eating out is a concern for vegan/vegetarians as there are still few restaurants that cater to them. According to a Japan Tourism Agency survey of vegetarians and other visitors to Japan, 55% of respondents “have given up on a dish they wanted to eat because there was no vegetarian option”, and 45% said “they would not go to a restaurant unless it was vegetarian-friendly”.

With the demand for restaurants to be vegan-friendly, plant-based “bee-free” honey, which tastes as good as real honey but is sustainably produced, could be a great addition to the range of menu items at restaurants.

[Related Article]


[Reference Site] Melibio’s Bee-Free Honey to Launch in Europe Next Year
[Reference Site] The honey industry
[Reference site] Melibio
[Reference site] Bee-Free MeliBio Honey Without Bees
[Reference Site] Exclusive: We Tasted the World’s First Real Honey Made Without Bees From MeliBio and We Couldn’t Taste the Difference
[Reference Site] Definition of veganism

table source 編集部
table source 編集部
table source 編集部では、サステナビリティやサーキュラーエコノミー(循環経済)に取り組みたいレストランやホテル、食にまつわるお仕事をされている皆様に向けて、国内外の最新ニュース、コラム、インタビュー取材記事などを発信しています。