Salmon is the latest development from the meat alternative industry; Terramino Foods has developed a sustainable, fungi-based salmon burger that it plans to begin supplying to restaurants by the end of 2018.
The startup developed the burger from koji, a fungus used to make sake, miso soup, and soy sauce. Terramino brews the fungi as a liquid and grows it into strands, which when combined with algae, replicates both the flavor and nutrition of salmon, with a lower fat content.
“Instead of using [koji ’s] ability to transform soy or rice, we’re using their biomass as a great source of protein,” Kimberlie Le, cofounder and CEO of Terramino Foods, tells Fast Company. The company plans to roll out fish-free salmon fillets this year and will also expand to other seafood alternatives.
Price-wise, Terramino Foods' salmon alternative is already nearly competitive with traditional salmon; the company expects to align with the average wholesale price of salmon by 2019.
“Right now, we’re not that far off from it, even at a very small scale,” Le tells Fast Company. “That kind of speaks to how our technology is not a matter of 5 or 10 years from now–it’s happening now. We can already feed people and it’s decently cost-effective. Our goal at scale, in a few years, will be to get the price down below any source of animal source protein, whether that be chicken or fish.”
Other clean meat companies, such as Wild Type, have also ventured into the sustainable salmon ring. Wild Type is currently using cellular agriculture to grow small pieces of salmon to be used, for example, in sushi, with plans to expand to smoked salmon and salmon fillets, reports LIVEKINDLY. The company recently netted $3.5 million in funding.
Clean meat eliminates the need for raising livestock for food, thus mitigating many problems connected with the animal agriculture industry including greenhouse gas emissions and overuse of antibiotics. While thus far, more press coverage has been given to meat alternative options seeking to replicate beef, such as Impossible Foods and Beyond Foods, the development of the fish and seafood portion of the meat alternative industry is equally important in order to reduce the impact of issues including overfishing and unsustainable aquaculture.
The average American eats approximately 15.5 pounds of fish or seafood a year, according to a 2015 report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
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