Aqua Cultured Foods: 'Whole cut' seafood alternatives from fungi
By Elaine Watson
- Last updated on
The first to pitch was Anne Palermo, CEO and co-founder at Aqua Cultured Foods, a Chicago-based startup carving out novel territory in the alternative seafood space with a Non-GMO fermentation-based production platform capable of delivering high-protein, nutrient-rich ‘whole cuts’ of fungi-based seafood.
The first products - whole cut calamari and popcorn shrimp – are set to launch on a small scale in the foodservice market in 2022, said Palermo: “Alternative seafood is still considered a nascent industry, there's no major player, and we are going after that refrigerated protein set, because our products are whole grown, whole food ingredients, that are able to withstand temperature and humidity fluctuations with no detriment to quality.
“We are able to retain all the naturally occurring proteins, fibers, and micronutrients that you typically see in whole food ingredients, but what I really want to highlight is the fact that we have vitamin B12 in all of our products and that is something that can be lacking in a plant based diet because it’s typically found from animal sources.”
“Our business model is to go after foodservice first because 70% of all seafood is consumed in restaurants. However, due to the long sales cycles, we are also going to be going after retail branded opportunities simultaneously.”