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Faux Fish: The Next Popular Plant-Based Meat

Jun 16, 2023

Faux Fish: The Next Popular Plant-Based Meat

From plant-based burgers to lab-grown steak, the food industry’s initiative for a sustainable future is constantly innovating. Now, faux seafood is arriving on the scene. 

So, what exactly is faux seafood? 

Faux seafood is divided into plant- or fungi-based substitutes and lab-grown seafood. They are much less common in the plant-based market at the time due to their taste, flavor, and texture. Therefore, faux seafood labs still have a long way to fully explore and develop them.

One example of fungi-based seafood that debuted in 2021 is the Lobster Ravioli. Although koji—a mold starter rich with umami—lacks flavor and taste, this fibrous and filamentous fungus serves as building blocks for the lobster ravioli and other plant- or fungi-based meats. By adding flavoring and colors to koji, it mimics the natural taste of lobster meat. 

On the other hand, lab-grown (or cell-cultured) seafood involves growing authentic meat steak or filet from muscle and fat cells from the animal. Salmon, shrimp, and crab are some of the varieties that are currently being developed by cultivated meat companies. 

This approach to making these seafood alternatives benefits the environment in many ways. It eliminates the process of raising and culling the animals, shortens the supply chain, and reduces water pollution from fertilizers used in fish farms.