UK tempeh brand Better Nature has received a £350,000 grant from Innovate UK, a government agency that provides funding and supports innovative new products, to develop an alternative to fish made from food by-products.
The company will use a new, proprietary fermentation method inspired by tempeh to give the industry’s by-products the taste and texture of fish. Better Nature says it hopes to achieve a product “physically, visually, nutritionally and sensorially equivalent, if not superior, to fish”.
The project is expected to run until 2024, with support from leading European fermentation companies such as Nucaps Nanotechnology, Neoalgae Micro Seaweeds Products and the Estonian Food and Fermentation Technology Center. Better Nature hopes to bring the fish alternative to market by 2026.
The continuing success story of Better Nature
In July 2020, Better Nature became the world’s first plastic-neutral alternative meat brand. Then last year the young founders launched a crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs with the aim of raising £1.6m, surpassing that target within two days of the campaign’s public launch to become one of the most funded plant-based crowdfunders in Seedrs history.
The company also continued to launch new products, such as ribs, slices and roasts. The newly announced fish project will be its first foray into alternative seafood.
“The chances of a meaningful transition to more sustainable plant-based alternatives to fish are hampered by technical barriers to replicating its structure, taste, and nutrition. Fermentation of tempeh, combined with co-inoculation techniques and natural encapsulation, addresses this. At Better Nature, we want to fill this gap with an attractive and affordable fish analogue made from all-natural and sustainable sources,” comments Driando Ahnan-Winarno, co- Founder and Chief Technology Officer at Better Nature.