Israeli alternative seafood pioneer Plantish, which 3D prints premium, whole-cut fish using plant proteins, has raised $12.5 million in seed funding – the largest seed round to date in the burgeoning alternative seafood market. Plantish is yet another Israeli 3D printed food start-up to enter the market in recent years – alongside The Chicken (the world’s first restaurant experience that offers the opportunity to eat meat grown directly from chicken cells), Redefine Meat, and SavorEat (companies printing animal-free meat), 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 already seen it happen in the meat market, now it’s the time for fish,” says Ofek Ron, CEO and Co-Founder, “and in particular salmon, which accounts for $50 billion in the half a trillion dollar seafood market. The problem has been that fish is so difficult to replicate until now.”
Currently, due to the technical complexities of whole-cut production, the alternative seafood sector primarily consists of minced fish options, such as fish fingers and fried fish.
Plantish has overcome these complexities by developing its own, versatile, patent-pending additive manufacturing technology that will produce plant-based fish alternatives. By deconstructing salmon to understand its different components, the team of experts is able to create plant-based connective tissue and muscle tissue layers, one super-fine layer at a time. This allows for capturing the experience of eating salmon, while doing so at scale and low cost, which will make it a suitable substitute for food service, restaurants, and retail.
Their first product is Plantish salmon, which mimics cooked salmon in taste, texture, appearance, and structure, whilst also having the same nutritional values as its conventional counterpart, with high protein and Omega-3 content.
“We are just offering a delicious upgrade to salmon that is safer for you and better for the planet. No antibiotics, no hormones, no mercury, no bycatch, and no compromise.”
Plantish’s current prototype can be prepared and cooked in all the methods that conventional salmon is prepared. The new funds will go towards building out the team and conducting further R&D to accelerate product development, with the goal being to get into food service first.
“You can expect to see us in fine dining restaurants within the next two years.”
Plantish will be launching their 3d printed whole-cut fish in pop-up locations at the end of the year and will be officially launching their product nation-wide in restaurants by 2024.