Business like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat that are making vegetable-based meat substitutes have recorded the imagination and wallets of customers, but so far, there’s been no real corollary for the seafood market.
Now, a startup coming from Y Combinator’s summertime associate, Kuleana
, is hoping it can swim in those waters. While brand-new services like Wild Type, Finless Foods and Shiok Meats are all developing cell-based options to utilizing live tuna, salmon and shrimp, and Great Catch and Ocean Hugger are proposing their own tuna replacements, Kuleana intends to separate itself by duplicating sushi-grade raw tuna.
And that’s only the start, according to Kuleana co-founder and president, Jacek Prus. Eventually, the business wishes to be making vegetarian alternatives to tuna, salmon and more fish and shellfish.
“Nobody has really done raw tuna very well yet,” says Prus. “We’re going to do raw tuna and then most likely salmon.”
Prus ended up being interested in the food industry after taking an animal ethics class at the University of Texas at Austin. After 5 years in the city, Prus transferred to Europe and assisted set up the ProVeg International incubator.
It was there that Prus got in touch with Ron Shigeta, a long time scientist, technologist and business owner in the food science space who previously worked as the chief science officer at IndieBio. Shigeta put Prus in touch with the Barcelona-based food science scientist Sonia Hurtado and the 3 introduced Kuleana (Shigeta has actually given that left the business).
The food accelerator experience gave Prus, a long-lasting meat eater prior to college, a grounding in alternative proteins and resulted in the believing around how to develop a more delicious fish option.
Sample product from Kuleana. Image Credit: Kuleana Kuleana’s tuna is used iron and algae oil and a mix of various proteins, and forming them in a proprietary way, Prus stated. Using an initial EUR50,000 in seed funding from Good Seed Ventures, Kuleana is developing a scaffolding that will allow the business to recreate the taste and texture of raw fish, without using 3D printing techniques (which Prus said could make the item look and taste” cooked “). To get to market, Kuleana is connecting to a variety of sushi chefs at dining establishments around the country, because
the first target is, in reality, dining establishments.” What we discovered is that 60%[ of seafood] is eaten out of the house, and with raw seafood that
‘s substantially higher, “stated Prus. “We’re doing it heavier on the food service path.”Within the year, Kuleana might be appearing in some stores as a tuna alternative in sushi rolls and poke bowls at a price that Prus stated is
currently competitive with higher-grade tuna loin. Kuleana currently held two successful taste tests in Barcelona and San Francisco and the company boasted in a recent note to financiers that there were letters of intent for orders of over 50,000 pounds of the company’s vegetarian tuna substitute.” The taste of tuna isn’t the hardest part … it’s the texture, “states Prus.”[ Competitors] are formatting their process through extrusion and it will not work. I’m positive that what we’re finishing with the biotech may be one of the very best methods out there.” Article curated by RJ Shara from Source. RJ Shara is a Bay Area Radio Host (Radio Jockey) who talks about the startup ecosystem – entrepreneurs, investments, policies and more on her show The Silicon Dreams. The show streams on Radio Zindagi 1170AM on Mondays from 3.30 PM to 4 PM.