Aquaculture for all

Aqua Cultured Foods to host alt-seafood tastings at Chicago facility

Sustainability Consumer Events +7 more

The alt-seafood pioneer will begin consumer tastings of its fermented and fish-free tuna, shrimp and scallops ahead of its formal restaurant and food service debut.

mycoprotein-based sushi
Aqua Cultured Foods fish-free seabass nigri

The startup is developing a range of alt-seafood from a proprietary mycoprotein fermentation processes. © Aqua Cultured Foods

Aqua Cultured Foods is set to host the tastings at its West Loop, Chicago headquarters in early April and will offer participants Aqua tuna rolls, shrimp dumplings and scallop crudo to solicit feedback.

Aqua is developing a range of alt-seafood from proprietary mycoprotein fermentation processes. A unique strain of fungi transforms plant-based ingredients into “seafood” with a realistic taste, texture and appearance that can be used as a one-to-one replacement for animal seafood. The company is also producing minced fillings for applications such as dumplings, ravioli and sushi rolls.

“Public tasting events will help us fine-tune products and learn what preparations are most successful, which will also help us create new menu items with chef and restaurant partners,” Aqua CEO Anne Palermo said in a news release. “Participants should arrive hungry and prepare to be wowed, because they’ve never had plant-based seafood that’s this delicious and this convincing.”

Those interested in joining a tasting panel can sign up here.

Aqua Cultured Foods is a food tech startup that has been developing the “world’s first whole-muscle cut seafood alternatives created through microbial fermentation.” Aqua’s calamari, shrimp, scallops and filets of tuna and whitefish are created using fermentation processes that do not use any animal inputs, genetic altering or modification. In a news release, the company explains that unlike plant-based processed foods formulated with starches and protein isolates, Aqua’s alt-seafood retains its naturally occurring fibre, protein and other micronutrients. The company says the technology produces a sustainable, complete protein source using minimal resource inputs.

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