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Israeli’s SimpliiGood has revealed that it has successfully prototyped a smoked salmon analogue made purely from spirulina algae. The development is cited as being the first of its kind. The company already produces products including meat substitutes, drinks and ice cream. This will represent its first foray into alt-seafood, a globally growing sector.
A prototype, demonstrating uniform portion sizes, recognisable aesthetics and distinctive texture, has been unveiled. SimpliiGood claims it is on par with conventional salmon. To bring the development to market, a strategic partnership has been signed with global conglomerate IFF. The two are eying a portion of the $5.2 billion smoked salmon market through the offering of the sustainable alternative.
The science behind the superfood
SimpliiGood claims its salmon is defined by two groundbreaking elements. The first is the development of clean salmon-like chunks, made exclusively from spirulina algae, via proprietary methods. The second is the identification of viable pigments from the same algae to leverage the orange colour associated with conventional salmon.
The company describes its fresh algae as a superfood that is entirely free of all environmental pollutants, which underscores the clean-label promise of its salmon. Sustainability has been a defining motivation for the company since its inception, making a move into alt-seafood significant.
“The tremendous damage of the animal food industry to climate change sharpens the need to develop sustainable protein substitutes,” Lior Shalev, CEO of SimpliiGood said in a statement. “SimpliiGood is proud to lead this field in the Israeli ecosystem, to grow and collaborate with the world’s leading food companies in order to bring a healthy, delicious and quality product without compromise. We are hurting animals and the environment. We welcome the collaboration with the international giant IFF, which is expanding our development line and bringing us into the huge market of fish substitutes and later on, to others.”
Israel’s growing alt-seafood sector
According to a just released report, Israeli’s alt-protein industry scored record-breaking investment in 2021. Within the various stats and data points, one glaring fact stands out: of 11 new startups founded in 2021, five are alt-seafood focussed. Sea2Cell, E-FISHient Protein, Forsea, Wanda Fish and Plantish are all names to know. The latter has already celebrated two significant wins.
In January this year, fellow Israeli startup Plantish unveiled its ultra-realistic salmon fillet to the world. The plant-based whole-cut confused and impressed, with its nuances of muscle and connective tissue. Made entirely from vegan ingredients, the fillet was debuted with a commercial launch date of 2024 cited. That date suddenly became a lot more tangible, following the just-announced over-subscribed seed round the startup has concluded, netting $12.45 million.
Outside of Israel, the whole-cut seafood space is heating up. Salmon is front and center for Dutch brand Vivera- it revealed its own plant-based fillets priced at a lower cost than conventional fish. San Francisco’s Current Foods made its plant-based smoked salmon available for B2C delivery and fellow SF startup Wildtype just netted $100 million. The investment was sought to assist with scaled distribution of cultivated sushi-grade salmon throughout the U.S., pending regulatory approval.
Lead photo by SimpliiGood.