Food tech startup Aqua Cultured Foods announced it has signed a Proof of Concept (PoC) with Migros, Switzerland’s largest retailer, to advance the development of its seafood alternatives with a realistic taste and texture.
The collaboration includes assessing Swiss consumer acceptance of Aqua’s fermentation-derived sea food alternatives and exploring new business opportunities in Switzerland.
Aqua uses microbial fermentation to "grow" protein, and is developing whole-muscle cut, sushi-quality filets of tuna and whitefish, as well as shrimp and calamari alternatives, based on its novel fermentation technology.
Europeans in EU member states consume 27kg (nearly 60lbs) of seafood per person, with imports far exceeding domestic supply. Nearly one-quarter of the world’s catch is imported to Europe, although it represents less than ten percent of the world’s population.
Aqua was accepted into Kickstart 2021, a Swiss startup incubator for high-growth tech innovation. In the past six years, Kickstart has supported more than 200 startups and facilitated more than 200 deals in more than 40 countries, raising more than $1.6B in investments and working with European partners including Migros and Coop.
Aqua’s fermentation methods do not use any animal inputs, genetic altering or modification and can be marketed as non-GMO. Per serving, products will contain 18-20g of protein, 10-12g of fiber and no sodium, saturated fat or cholesterol, and Omega-3s. These nutritional values are similar to cod, which contains 18b of protein, 0.7g of fat, nearly 43mg cholesterol, 54mg of sodium, and no fiber.
Aqua is currently scaling production and building infrastructure to release commercial products with strategic partners in 2022.