Faux fish: Israeli startup unveils 3D-printed, plant-based salmon fillet

A new Israeli startup says it has produced whole vegan salmon fillets and is the first to mimic the look, taste and texture of actual fish.

Six-month-old Plantish unveiled the prototype Thursday, announcing that it was developing a patent-pending additive manufacturing technology — the industrial name for 3D printing — to make low-cost and large-scale plant-based alternatives to fish. .

Blanche, based in Rehovot, says it’s made whole-vegan, boneless, boneless salmon fillets with the same nutritional value as the actual fish, which is high in protein, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and B vitamins — but without the mercury, antibiotics, hormones, plastic particles, and toxins that are often present. In ocean or aquaculture species.

The company said it chose full production intricacies rather than chopped, due to customer demand. “About 80% of fish is consumed whole, in the form of whole fish or fillets,” Blanche said.

“Using the correct plant proteins to achieve fibrous strands intended to replicate the complex tissue of animal muscle is key to successfully capturing the salmon eating experience, and doing so on a large scale will make it a viable alternative to food service, catering, and retail.”

In its announcement Thursday, the company said that the Blanche product can be cooked in the same ways that traditional salmon is prepared.

Previously in stealth, Blanche was founded in mid-2021 by Ofek Ron, former general manager of an Israeli-friendly vegan organization, who serves as CEO; Dr. Hila Alimalek, Ph.D. in Chemistry and expert in additive manufacturing technology, serves as Head of Research and Development; Dr. Ron Sisek, Chief Scientific Officer; Ariel Saklani, Ph.D. in Bioengineering, holds the position of Chief Technology Officer; And
Eyal Briller, former director of products for American meat company Impossible Foods.

In a company statement, Ron said Blanche’s mission was deeply meaningful to the founding team. “We exist to save the oceans and eliminate the need to consume marine animals by providing more sustainable, nutritious and delicious fish options,” he said.

Israeli startup Blanche unveils 3D-printed, whole-cut vegetarian salmon fillet in January 2022 (Blanch)

“Our vision is to be the world’s leading seafood brand without harming a single fish,” he added.

Blanche has raised a seed round of $2 million from TechAviv Founder Partners, a fund focused on Israeli founders who have backed companies such as drone logistics company Flytrex and creator Nas Academy.

The startup said its vegan salmon product will be launched in select pop-up locations by the end of 2022 with an official launch expected in 2024.

Plantish is one of about 90 companies worldwide in the plant-based seafood industry, with a dozen or so more developing farmed seafood or fish made from animal cells, according to a June 2021 Good Food Institute report.

Market research firm IMARC Group reports that companies developing alternative fish and seafood products grew 30 percent between 2017 and 2020, with further growth expected in the coming years as concerns about depleted supplies and overfishing grow, and more companies move from development to commercial launch.

Some are on the right track. Spain’s Mimic Seafood introduced a tomato-based tuna product last year, while US startup Ocean Hugger Foods launched a vegan alternative to raw tuna and raw eel (for sushi) in 2019 with plans to focus on the US and Europe this year in a partnership with headquartered Nove Foods. Bangkok.

A number of companies make vegan crab cakes, shrimp, fish sticks, smoked salmon, and cod fillets.

Swiss food giant Nestle launched its vegan tuna product, Fauna, in 2021 (Nestlé)

Big food companies are also hunting for success in this field. US meat company Tyson Foods bought a minority stake in New York-based vegetarian shrimp producer New Wave Foods in 2019. Its existing meat line, OMG Meat, last year includes crab cakes and fish burgers sold to retailers and restaurants. Food giant Nestlé launched its fish-free tuna product, Fauna, made with pea protein in 2020. US global food company Cargill will unveil a new line of vegan products including vegan scallops with Japan-based supermarket chain Lawson, also in 2020. .

The vegan seafood market is still small compared to the vegan meat industry, according to a Good Food Institute report, but sales in the coming years “could grow by $221 million if the category is able to capture the same share of the vegan seafood market in the meat market.” .

you are serious we appreciate that!

That’s why we come to work every day – to provide discerning readers like you with must-read coverage of Israel and the Jewish world.

So far we have a request. Unlike other news outlets, we have not put in place a paywall. But since the journalism we do is costly, we invite readers for whom The Times of Israel has become important to help support our work by joining The Times of Israel community.

For as little as $6 a month, you can help support our quality journalism while enjoying The Times of Israel Free ads, as well as access to exclusive content available only to members of the Times of Israel community.

Join our community Join our community Already a member? Sign in to stop seeing this

Leave a Comment