Vegan Nuggets Made From Algae? They’re Better Than the Real Thing In Nearly Every Way.
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Israel-based SimpliiGood, a front-runner in the food-tech industry, has announced the launch of chicken nuggets made primarily from spirulina microalgae. And the company says they’re a game-changer.
SimpliiGood is pioneering an innovation in spirulina, which it says can mirror the taste and texture of conventional chicken while providing a higher nutritional value and a smaller impact on the planet.
Microalgae, like spirulina, have gained significant attention in recent years for their rich nutrient composition, including whole proteins, essential fatty acids, antioxidants, and a range of vitamins and minerals. Microalgae cultivation also presents ecological benefits as it requires less land and water compared to traditional crop cultivation. Its carbon footprint is much smaller than that of conventional livestock production.
Developed by AlgaeCore Technologies Ltd., the SimpliiGood alternative meat comprises 80 percent fresh spirulina and prebiotic fibers, delivering a clean and nutrient-rich option. The company says it sets a new standard in harnessing the power of microalgae nutrition in everyday diets.
Baruch Dach, SimpliiGood’s founder and CTO, says the company started from a “minced prototype” before recreating a whole chicken breast filet. According to Dach, the product outstrips real chicken in nutritional density due to spirulina’s inherent richness and the new nugget provides a neutral taste, allowing for diverse flavor additions.
“100 grams of SimpliiGood microalgae provides the equivalent of 200 grams of real chicken in protein load,” says Dach. “By consuming less while gaining more,” he says, “it also contributes to reducing waste and energy consumption, streamlining the supply chain, and minimizing the overall downstream carbon footprint.”
Scaling spirulina production
Following the success of its smoked salmon replica launch in February, SimpliiGood aims to roll out the new chicken analog on a commercial scale next year. The company, now partnered with Haifa Group Ltd., is also expanding its spirulina production capabilities, ensuring consistent supply and enhancing its market response time.
“We started out as cultivators of fresh spirulina,” Lior Shalev, CEO and co-founder of SimpliiGood, said in a statement. “But then we began to think of ways we can take the formulation of this highly sought ingredient beyond the boundary of the capsule matrix and into the mainstream of the plant-based food landscape. Microalgae such as spirulina is a high-value and eco-friendly alternative protein source. That’s how we evolved into spirulina innovators.”
The company says it has addressed the long-standing sensory challenges associated with plant-based alternatives, enhancing their functionality and appeal. Shalev says this broadens its applications beyond the “exceptional nutritional profile” and high concentration of protein, making it also a clean-label potential to replace thickeners, stabilizers, emulsifiers, binders, texturizers in multiple applications. “Plus our naturally color-free version is an excellent replacer for synthetic colorants,” he said.
SimpliiGood is also scaling up its vertically integrated spirulina, which is produced in greenhouse ponds in the southern desert region of Israel. It says it can scale production to 250 tons of spirulina per year, with a harvest every 24 hours.