Reading time: 3 minutes
The once-specialty vegan and vegetarian food scene is now packed with options. Gone are the days when meatless steak was an oxymoron. Today, consumers can get their hands on everything from dairy-free ice cream to plant-based meat burgers. And now, thanks to Israeli start-up Plantish, vegan whole salmon fillets are joining the ranks as well.
For a company that is only six months old, Plantish has accomplished a lot. The food tech startup has already raised $ 2 million from TechAviv Founder Partners, a venture capital fund backed by some of the industry’s top players. This includes 33 unicorn founders as well as angel investors, like Michelin chef José Andrés and vlogger Nuseir Yassin (aka Nas Daily), who has 20 million Facebook followers.
Driven by an unwavering commitment to reviving our oceans, Plantish will use the funds to further develop its versatile and patent-pending additive manufacturing technology.
It is this technology that enables the company to produce realistic plant-based fish substitutes at low cost and on a large scale, making it more accessible to the foodservice, foodservice and retail sectors. detail.
Whole vegan salmon
Plantish Boneless Salmon Fillet is made with protein from legumes and seaweed extracts. Yet, it reflects the look, taste, texture and structure of conventional cooked salmon. It is the latter that has so far kept food producers from perfecting vegan seafood. But with an experienced team at the helm – including serial entrepreneurs, PhDs in bioengineering and chemistry, and executives in food technology – the company has succeeded.
The structure of the product is particularly relevant, given that a large majority of fish sold are whole pieces (with estimates of up to 80 percent). Still, the field of alternative seafood is full of plant-based ground fish options due to technical constraints.
Plantish whole fillet has the same nutritional value as animal salmon and is high in protein, omega-3, omega-6 and B vitamins. But unlike many farmed or wild salmon, Plantish’s version is free from mercury, antibiotics, hormones, microplastics and other toxins. Plus, the company’s current prototype can be baked in the same way as its animal-based counterpart.
Save the oceans
Plantish’s considerably rapid growth can be attributed, in part, to the team’s shared mission.
Ofek Ron, co-founder and CEO of Plantish, explained, “We exist to save the oceans and eliminate the need to consume marine animals by providing more sustainable, nutritious and delicious fish options.
“Our vision is to be the number one seafood brand in the world, all without harming a single fish. “
It’s an ambitious endeavor, given the global seafood market is worth $ 586 billion, according to market research firm IMARC Group. In particular, salmon accounts for $ 50 billion of that number.
But there has never been a better time to compete with the industry. Over 90 percent of the world’s marine fish stocks are already overexploited. And with the world’s population expected to reach nearly 10 billion by 2050, it is becoming clear that today’s fishing industry is not sustainable.
Last year, a one-of-a-kind study concluded that bottom trawling – a process used to catch massive amounts of fish – releases as much carbon as the airline industry.
Meanwhile, seafood production has been blamed for excessive amounts of pollution, as well as habitat degradation and loss of species.
For this and other reason, Plantish – a net zero carbon company – maintains that “plants make the best fish.”
“We’re driven by the Plantish way,” the start-up writes on its website, “we all share the same vision and passion and know that only if we work together will we change the world.”
Plantish Salmon will launch in select pop-up locations by the end of the year. Its official launch is scheduled for 2024. For more information, see the Plantish website.