Food tech startup Aqua Cultured Foods announced that it has successfully made advancements in its novel fermentation technology that doubles its biomass output in the same time frame. This effectively doubles the production of its whole-muscle cut tuna and whitefish, popcorn shrimp, calamari, and scallop alternatives.
Aqua’s techniques for “growing” protein through microbial fermentation rely on manipulating a series of environmental factors such as ingredients in its culture medium, temperature, humidity, and oxygen levels. By controlling these conditions, Aqua can deliver the texture, moisture level, and appearance of animal-based seafood.
Its recent developments have resulted in a dramatic improvement in growth timeline as well as output.
“Scaling our production is extremely significant as we move towards commercialisation, and positions us well for potential partners that want to bring products to market,” said Aqua CEO Anne Palermo. “We thank our director of research and development Bob Schultz for his advancements into our fermentation techniques and optimising for growth and capacity.”
Aqua has filed three patents and is currently filing two more on their novel approach to the production of their proteins.
Unlike plant-based processed foods formulated with starches and protein isolates, products made from microbial fermentation retain naturally occurring fibre, protein and other micronutrients. Unlike cell-cultured meat, Aqua’s fermentation methods do not use any animal inputs, genetic altering or modification and can be marketed as non-GMO.
Aqua will be scaling production to introduce seafood alternatives with select partners in 2022 to test consumer acceptance, and is raising its next financing round.