Israeli food tech startup Plantish plans to officially sell the world’s first plant-based whole-cut salmon fillets in 2024

Plantish is an Israeli foodtech company with the goal of becoming the world’s leading fish brand without harming any fish. The company’s first product is Plantish Salmon™, a fully structured, boneless salmon fillet made entirely from plant-based ingredients.

Plantish has revealed its prototype, which can be cooked in any way that traditional salmon is. Look at this dish; the salmon fillets look exactly like real salmon. What about its flavor and nutritional value?

 A salmon dish cooked with Plantish Salmon. Photo by Asaf Karela

Plantish claims that Plantish Salmon™ has the same nutritional value as conventional salmon, and is high in protein, Omega-3s, Omega-6s, and B vitamins. “Our fresh fish contains all the proteins, essential nutrients and deliciousness you crave”. More amazingly, the Plantish Salmon™ is free of mercury, microplastics, and other pollutants which solves another problem that natural and raised salmon have.

Actually, plant-based fish and seafood are not new to the market. However, due to the technical complexities of whole cut production, we only see them offered in the form of minced seafood options. Because salmon has a unique structure of tissues and fat components,  it is even more difficult to create like-real salmon fillets. It requires a certain technology to help place each tissue in its right place and achieve its complex structure. What makes Plantish stand out is they uses a patented 3D printing technology to power their production of the world first plant-based salmon fillets. This allows them to create whole-cut fillets which can “address the entire sensory experience of eating conventional salmon including taste, texture, flavor, aroma and, most importantly, structure” according to Plantish’s Cofounder and CEO Ofek Ron.

Ofek Ron- Plantish’s CEO introducing Plantish Salmon to one of his investor. Photo credit: Plantish’s Instagram

Plantish’s food scientists created the project to tackle the increasing environmental concerns when the demand for seafood reaches all-time high which results in overexploiting fish and damaging the ecosystem’s natural balance.
In a recent report, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned that global fish consumption is expected to rise from 179 million tons in 2018 to 204 million tons in 2030, posing a serious threat to the ocean and fish quality. As a result, plant-based alternatives are a very promising solution with a high potential for future growth. According to IMARC Group, the global seafood market is worth $586 billion today, with salmon accounting for $50 billion. The alternative seafood market grew by 30% between 2017 and 2020 and is expected to reach $1.3 billion by 2031. Given that approximately 80% of fish is consumed whole-cut, in the form of whole fish or fillets, Plantish Salmon™ is expected to be a great substitute for conventional salmon and to have a large market to serve because it allows consumers to cook all the dishes they want with it, just like with traditional salmon.

“Using the right plant proteins to achieve the fibrous strands meant to replicate the complex texture of animal muscle is the key to succeeding in capturing the experience of eating salmon and doing so at scale will make it a suitable substitute for foodservice, restaurants, and retail,” said Ron.

Plantish started to gain attention since 2021 after successfully raising $2 million in pre-seed funding from TechAviv Founder Partners, a venture fund backed by top industry veterans, including 33 unicorn founders, and angel investors, including Nuseir Yassin of Nas Daily. It has now raised a total of $12.5 million. Plantish Salmon™will first be available in select pop-up locations by the end of the year. The official launch date is set for 2024.

Plantish’s founding members are a mix of serial entrepreneurs, bioengineering and chemistry PhDs, and foodtech executives: Ofek Ron, former Vegan Friendly GM; Dr. Ron Sicsic, former Enviro founder; Dr. Hila Elimelech, Chemistry PhD; Dr. Ariel Szklanny, Bioengineering PhD; and Eyal Briller, former Director of Product at Impossible Foods.

Plantish pledges to strive for a zero-emissions workplace and believes in creating a transparent food system with high-quality, responsibly sourced ingredients. In an interview with 3Dnative, the company also stated that salmon is only the first product and that they plan to produce substitute fillets of any fish that people eat.

“As long as there is demand, we can expand to anything that has a fish structure, and the sky is the limit.” said Plantish team.

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