SimpliiGood, an Israeli food and technology startup, is developing the first vegan smoked salmon from spirulina. The plant-based salmon dish will taste, smell, and feel like salmon. The startup is working to ensure that the color and texture of the dish match accurately with sea salmon, but without the toxicity associated with sea animals, such as mercury and other industrial wastes.
SimpliiGood is owned by Algecore Technologies Ltd., a company that specializes in cultivating and harvesting spirulina. The blue algae are hailed as one of the plants that can help replace traditional protein sources. Although spirulina grows naturally in lakes, it can also be farmed in environments that are tough for many plants to grow. Algecore Technologies runs spirulina farms in Israel, where the algae grow under controlled environments to prevent toxification.
The only ingredient to be used in this new vegan salmon is spirulina. This product will join a list of other plant-based meats served by the startup including burgers and chicken nuggets, as well as popsicles, ice cream, and crackers enhanced by spirulina.
“Our spirulina can act as a complete replacement for animal-based protein or be easily integrated into existing food products as an added-value ingredient, as it has a neutral flavor and maintains its full nutritional value,” Lior Shalev, CEO and co-founder of Algaecore, said. “This project marks an exciting milestone in our company’s product line expansion as we enter the fish substitute market.”
To make their new dish a reality, SimpliiGood has partnered with innovation lab FoodNxt and the Israeli Innovation Authority, a government ministry that aims at bringing R&D within Israel. SimpliiGood will provide the raw materials, specifically spirulina, while the other partners will add flavors and aromas to the dish.
Spirulina is a rich protein source with many nutrients. It is a source of antioxidants, vitamin B12, and minerals such as iron. Although the spirulina market is still young, the plant is just getting recognized for its true value. Globally, more people are starting to adopt the plant not just for its protein, but also for its health benefits.
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