Israeli alternative seafood pioneer Plantish, which 3D-prints premium whole fish using plant-based protein, has raised $12.5m in seed funding – the largest funding round yet day in the booming alternative seafood market. Plantish is another Israeli 3D-printed food startup that has entered the market in recent years – alongside The Chicken (the world’s first dining experience that offers the ability to eat cultured meat directly from chicken cells), Redefine Meat and SavorEat (animal-free meat printing companies), to name a few.
Founded in mid-2021, Plantish’s mission is to save the oceans through the production of plant-based, whole-cut fish fillets that are similar in taste, texture and nutrition to conventional salmon. “We’ve seen it before in the meat market, now is the time for fish,” says Ofek Ron, CEO and co-founder, “and especially salmon, which is $50 billion in the market. half a trillion dollar seafood.. The problem is the fish is so hard to breed so far.
Currently, due to the technical complexities of producing whole pieces, the seafood alternative sector consists primarily of minced fish options, such as fish sticks and fried fish.
Plantish has overcome these complexities by developing its own versatile, patent-pending additive manufacturing technology that will produce plant-based alternatives to fish. By deconstructing salmon to understand its various components, the team of experts are able to create layers of plant-based connective tissue and muscle tissue, one super-thin layer at a time. This captures the experience of eating salmon, while doing it on a large scale and at a low cost, making it a suitable substitute for catering, restaurants and retail.
Their first product is Plantish Salmon, which mimics cooked salmon in taste, texture, appearance and structure, while having the same nutritional values as its conventional counterpart, with a high content of protein and omega- 3.
“We’re simply offering a delicious salmon upgrade that’s safer for you and better for the planet. No antibiotics, no hormones, no mercury, no bycatch and no compromise.
The current Plantish prototype can be prepared and cooked using all conventional salmon preparation methods. The new funds will be used to strengthen the team and continue R&D to accelerate product development, with the aim of going into the restaurant business first.
“You can expect to see us in fine dining restaurants within two years.”
Plantish will launch its 3D-printed whole cut fish in pop-up locations at the end of the year and officially launch its product nationwide in restaurants by 2024.