The once small niche vegan and vegetarian food scene are now filled with options. Today, consumers can get everything from dairy-free ice cream to plant-based burgers. And now, thanks to an Israeli start-up called Plantish, vegan whole-cut salmon fillets are joining the niche too.
Plantish is only 6 months old but in that short period has achieved a lot. The start-up has already netted $2 million from TechAviv Founder Partners, a venture fund supported by some of the industry's key players.
Driven by the idea to revive our ocean's fauna, Plantish is using the funds to develop its patent-pending additive manufacturing technology.
This technology allows to produce realistic faux fish alternatives at a low cost and on a large scale, to make it accessible to the foodservice, restaurant, and retail sectors.
Plantish's boneless salmon fillet is made from legume proteins and algae extracts. But it completely mimics conventional cooked salmon in appearance, taste, texture, and structure.
The structure was what kept food producers from perfecting vegan seafood until now. But with a team of serial entrepreneurs, bioengineering and chemistry PhDs, and food tech executives – the company came succeeded.
The product's structure is particularly relevant, given that a vast majority of fish sold is whole-cut but the alternative seafood field is crowded with minced plant-based fish options due to technical issues.
Plantish's whole-cut fillet has the same nutritional value as real salmon and is high in protein, omega-3s, omega-6s, and B vitamins. Plantish's version is free from mercury, antibiotics, hormones, microplastics, and other toxins. Further, the company's current prototype can be cooked in all the same ways its animal-based counterpart is prepared.
Plantish's significantly 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, more nutritious, and more delicious fish options.
“Our vision is to be the world's leading seafood brand, all without hurting a single fish.”
It's an ambitious pursuit, since the global seafood market is worth $586 billion, and, salmon makes up $50 billion of this figure.
More than 90 percent of the world's marine fish stocks are already overfished. And with the global population expected to hit nearly 10 billion by 2050, it's becoming clear that today's fishing industry is unsustainable.
Plantish Salmon will be launching in select pop-up locations by the end of the year. Its official launch is slated for 2024. For more information, see Plantish's website.