Do you love smoked salmon but have qualms with the netting of wild fish or the questionable practices of fish farming? Well, soon, you won’t have to compromise your environmental and ethical values to satisfy your smoked salmon craving.
Israeli startup SimpliiGood and IFF-Dupont are working on a novel algae-based smoked salmon replacement that is 40 percent complete protein. On top of that, the finished product looks, feels, and tastes like actual smoked salmon but is made out of “100 percent pure, fresh, minimally processed spirulina.”
What is spirulina?
Even though many of us may have seen spirulina listed as an ingredient at your local smoothie place or health supplement shop, lots of people are still unclear on what spirulina actually is. Spirulina is a common cyanobacterium that is also known as blue-green algae. It has high nutritional content and claims to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and brain-protective effects.
According to Healthline, spirulina is jam-packed with nutrients. A single tablespoon (seven grams) of dried spirulina powder is only 20 calories and 1.7 grams of digestible carbs but offers:
- Four grams of protein
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B2
- Vitamin B3
How does spirulina become smoked salmon?
First, the raw spirulina is processed to take on the aroma and flavor of smoked salmon using a procedure developed by IFF-Dupont. Then, SimpliiGood steps in and gives the processed spirulina its salmon-like color, texture, and mouthfeel. To get the right color, they extract a beta carotene pigment that’s already naturally found in algae.
Smoked salmon lovers can expect to see this product on the market at some point next year. The hope is that this process will pave the way for more spirulina-based fish alternatives to be developed in the future.