Are Flexitarians ready for mushroom-based seafood? Here’s what the taste test found.


3 Pain Read

With a full-cut microbial fermentation seafood coming to market, Aqua Cultured Foods is preparing to break into the category. And based on recent consumer feedback, success can be a pair of impossible burgers or Just Egg.

After a few private tastings for members of the industry, food technology startup Aqua Cultured Foods says its microbial fermentation represents strong opportunities to market its responses to tuna, white fish and squid.

“I couldn’t stop eating”

Aqua Cultured Foods, in order to develop options for vegan seafood that uses mycoproteins, has offered its seafood offerings to food service distributors, chefs and retail restaurants and eateries. He showed his seafood to potential partners in Europe, Asia and North America.

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Fermented seafood. Photo by Aqua Cultured Foods.

“The alternative sushi-level seafood samples I’ve tried today have been awesome with whole vegetable-based muscle cuts. Incredible !!” said Jen DiFrancesco, Sodexo’s Director of Culinary Innovation, about her tasting experience. stop eating. We’re still talking about that! ”

“Opinions and discussions with the companies we are gathering have made us very optimistic about going to market and co-marking opportunities,” said Aqua CGO Brittany Chibe. “Whether it’s rising costs, supply chain concerns or sustainability goals, we’re seeing a lot of interest from potential partners who want to develop products or offer them on the menu with our seafood.”

Market potential

Aqua Cultured says it is now ready to launch public tasting events, following the success of private tastings as it prepares to market its products later this year. He is working with shrimp, scallops and steaks in addition to the recently sampled items.

The company says it is capable of producing 50,000 pounds of seafood a month in a 15,000-square-foot factory. In addition to the US, factories are being planned in key markets across Asia and Europe.

Microbial fermentation, although not plant-based because it is made with fungi, offers many benefits from plant-based and conventional seafood including protein, omega-fatty acids and fiber, which are only found in plants and fungi.

Aqua Cultured by hand

Last October, Aqua Cultured Foods closed the largest round of funding for pre-seed vegan slices of muscle-level sushi. The women-led startup raised $ 2.1 million in a subscription round that is one of the largest in the entire fermented protein sector.

“Interest at this stage has exceeded our ability to bring in partners, and has led to a round of subscriptions, but it has left us in a good position for future investments and very optimistic about the prospect of delivering more sustainable proteins,” said Aqua CEO Anne Palermo. in the first year.

“Our next step is to work to commercialize our products on a laboratory scale, to bring them to food services and retail channels,” Palermo said, “including a fresh food fridge to get our products to restaurant tables and seafood counters.”

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