Meet an Israeli start-up that prints vegan fish products
While many companies are offering alternatives to real red meat, a new Israeli startup is looking to offer an alternative for those who abstain from animal products and want to enjoy a plant-based cut of fish. . Israeli food development company “Plantish” aims to save the delicate fabric of ocean life by using plant-based materials to develop a substitute with the same appearance, texture, taste and same nutritional values as real fish products. “Fish is the most hunted animal in the world,” says Ofek Ron, company founder, CEO and avid vegan. “If we do nothing, in a few decades there will probably be no fish in the sea.” Plantish was founded by Ron, alongside other like-minded people including Dr Hilla Elimelech, Dr Ron Sicsic, Dr Ariel Szklanny, Eli Zinal and Eyal Ziller – all of whom have set themselves the goal of revolutionizing the fish industry in the same way. companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods have revolutionized the alternative meat market. According to Ron, Plantish’s first product will be a plant-based cut of salmon – one of the most popular fish in the world – and the company is already considering the development of other alternatives, including other types of fish and even seafood such as shrimp and squid. The way the product is made, says Elimelech, the company’s head of R&D, is to “reverse engineer the actual fish”. “Then we come to the lab and take certain substances from plants – for example soy protein, fat, water, omega 3, omega 6 – to create the composition which we reassemble in a fish configuration to using a 3D printer,” explains Elimelech. printing is the name of the game. We want to precisely reconstruct the structure of fish,” she adds. Unlike other companies that focus on alternatives to fish, such as Wanda Fish, Sea2Cell and Forsea – which all develop lab-grown fish products by sampling multiple animal cells and raising them in the lab – Plantish has set itself the goal of being completely plant-based.” We want to lead the plant replacement trend in Israel “, says Ron. “It may be that in the future we will integrate lab-grown fish into our own technologies, we are already talking to companies developing such products in Israel and thinking about how to integrate their cells within our sixth, seventh or eighth generation,” he added. In order to better understand the benefits and limitations of the company’s salmon product, as well as to achieve the precise and desired taste, Plantish enlisted the help of celebrity chef Nir Tzuk – who created three distinct dishes using Salmon. And while the testers admitted that the dishes tasted and looked great, the texture of the plant-based salmon left something to be desired. “Indeed, the hardest thing is the texture,” admits Elimelech, “that’s where most of our effort lies.” Plantish adds that its product will hit restaurants across the country in about two years, then land in supermarkets a year later.