Today’s Solutions: October 24, 2021

Although the fishing industry usually has a lower environmental impact than meat farming, overfishing is an issue, so innovators are racing to come up with more sustainable alternatives without compromising too much on flavor. Among such innovators is Aqua Cultured Foods.

The startup grows fish-free versions of tuna, whitefish, calamari, and shrimp by using nothing else but fungi. “It has that gorgeous translucency and wet texture that you find in a raw piece of sashimi and sushi-grade fish,” says company CEO Anne Palermo.

While other startups are also working to replicate fish using plant-based ingredients, most of them are currently focusing on simpler textures, like fish sticks or fish patties. By comparison, Aqua Cultured Foods uses a completely different method of production, arguing that the result more closely resembles seafood both in its texture and nutritional profile.

“We’re growing a whole food ingredient,” Palermo says. “Because of that, the products aren’t highly processed. There’s no sodium, there’s no cholesterol.” According to Fast Company, a 100-gram serving has 80 calories, 10 to 12 grams of fiber, and 18 to 20 grams of protein, along with micronutrients like B vitamins.

The company uses fermentation to produce the fungi, much like the process used to make kombucha or kimchi. With two decades of experience in the food and beverage industry, Palermo began experimenting with the fungi at home. “I started to try to grow my own mycelium in my pantry, on pieces of wet cardboard,” she says. “Through one of my many experiments, I started to realize that this could be a real, viable option for an alternative seafood.”

Palermo is preparing to bring its products to the market as early as 2022, as the company is currently working with a flavor house to add some of the enzymes and amino acids that are naturally found in seafood.

“I honestly believe that has the potential to replace sushi as we see it now,” Palermo says. “It has so many benefits from a health standpoint, from a sustainability standpoint, from an ethical standpoint. And eventually, once we reach scale, it should be able to be more price competitive.”

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

Algae wrapped in droplets improves efficiency of artificial photosynthesis

In our quest for the most sustainable, most renewable sources of energy, humanity continues to look to nature for inspiration. One of nature’s most efficient energy systems is photosynthesis, which is how plants convert sunlight, ... Read More

Evidence shows Vikings arrived in Americas nearly 500 years before Columbus

Researchers have known for a while that Vikings from Greenland founded the village of L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland around the turn of the millennium, but now, a study published in Nature has finally pinpointed ... Read More

Egypt’s State Council swears-in the nation’s first female judges

Egypt’s State Council was established in 1946 and is an independent judicial body that deals with administrative disputes, disciplinary cases, appeals, reviews draft laws, decisions, and contracts that involve the government or a government-run body. ... Read More

Is group or individual work more productive? Here’s what science says

Are you a group project person or do you prefer to fly solo? We all have our work preferences, but what does science say about teamwork and productivity? A new study conducted by Quartz aims ... Read More

Wildlife filmaker provides a unique insight into the daily lives of bees

You may have seen bees flying around your backyard or local park, but it can be difficult for the naked human eye to grasp the full complexity of the lives of these pollinators. During the ... Read More