‘A blank canvas to add whatever flavours desired’: Start-up provides nutrient-rich spirulina meat substitutes

By Augustus Bambridge-Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Image Source: Nimrod Genisher
Image Source: Nimrod Genisher

Related tags spirulina Algae alternative protein start-up

The algae spirulina has a wide range of health benefits. Now, a start-up is exploring its potential as a clean-label meat substitute, with flexibility in flavour and in use.

SimpliiGood by AlgaeCore Technologies Ltd. is a start-up focusing on the use of spirulina as a meat substitute. The company has in the past used it for algae-based salmon and are about to release vegan schnitzel, which is composed of 80% pure spirulina, alongside added probiotic fibres.

The algae has many benefits, both from a nutritional standpoint and a taste one. With the ingredient, SimpliiGood aims to ‘outpace’ animal meat in the nutritional world.

The elusive umami

‘Umami’ is one of five basic flavours, the others being sweet, sour, salty and bitter. Umami is not as easy to define as these others, but the most common meaning attributed to it is ‘savouriness’. The word roughly translates into ‘deliciousness’ in Japanese.

According to SimpliiGood, the company’s meat substitutes get the vegan meat industry ever close to representing umami.

Beyond this, SimpliiGood also stated that its spirulina can absorb a lot of different flavours, making it versatile and well-suited to standing in for a variety of animal proteins, including salmon and chicken.

It possesses a completely neutral taste, giving the formulator a ‘blank canvas’ to add whatever flavours desired​,” said Baruch Dach, CTO and founder of SimpliiGood.

Furthermore, he suggested, a small amount of real chicken can be added to make it a hybrid product with a more authentic chicken taste.

Protein and vitamins

SimpliiGood’s products also boast a wide range of nutritional benefits. For starters, their high protein content makes them more than a match for meat. In 100 grams, for example, of SimpliiGood spirulina microalgae you will find the equivalent protein of 200 grams of real chicken.

Each cut packs in 30% highly bioavailable protein​,” said Dach. “Combined with its rich natural makeup of micronutrients, it offers a potent alternative to animal protein with exceptional nutritional value​.”

Spirulina also provides a wide range of vitamins. For example, it is a source of iron, calcium, B vitamins, essential fatty acids and antioxidants. This means it can act as a nutrient supplement for some consumers.

Different forms

The market for spirulina is currently dominated by its dry, powdered form, which is used to make, among other things, teas, smoothies and juices.

SimpliiGood’s spirulina, however, is fresh. It is 100% raw, pure spirulina that is flash-frozen to align with the company’s purposes.

Because of its flexibility, spirulina replaces important parts of the meat substitute such as the thickeners, stabilisers, binders, texturizers and emulsifiers in many applications.

The company is vertically integrated, meaning that the spirulina is grown and cultivated in greenhouses ponds in Israel, where SimpliiGood is based. It has recently partnered with plant nutrition company Haifa Group Ltd. to bolster its supply chain.

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