Legendary Vish: The Student-Run Startup Revolutionizing Plant-Based Seafood

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Welcome, fellow nerds, to this week’s GreenGut Weekly Find! Today, we’re delving into the realm of plant-based seafood — specifically, salmon. 🐟🐟

Why seafood? Commercial fishing and aquaculture (fish farming) both pose some significant problems:

  • Bycatch, the unintentional hooking or netting of other marine wildlife, including protected species

  • Overfishing, which depletes ocean ecosystems and threatens the livelihoods of global populations

  • Risk of diseases spreading from fish farms to infect wild populations

  • Increased demand for soy and small fish to feed farmed fish, which puts additional strain on farmland and oceans

That’s why Legendary Vish is working to perfect a sustainable salmon solution.

Legendary Vish started as an experiment in using 3D printing to re-create the texture of fish from plant-based ingredients. Vienna-based students Robin Simsa, Theresa Rothenbücher and Hakan Gürbüz were looking to do something different with alternative seafood — namely, create an actual fillet instead of the extruded products already on the market. 🍣

By using 3D printing, the trio transformed a combination of plant-based proteins, agar-agar and starch into white and pink “fish meat.” The resulting product looks remarkably like actual salmon but is completely free of the heavy metal pollutants and microplastics found in most commercial fish (not to mention the antibiotics used in aquaculture.) 🌊

Ultimately, the team is seeking to achieve the same taste, texture and nutrition as actual salmon, including omega-3 content, while continuing to produce a sustainable product that “requires less energy, emits less greenhouse gases and does not need antibiotics.”

“We want to offer environmentally-conscious consumers a tasty, nutritious and healthy alternative to conventional seafood,” Simsa, CEO of Legendary Vish, said in an article in Seafood Source.

Based on feedback from taste tests, the realism is there. Now it’s just a matter of continuing to hone the printing process and moving the product to market. If all goes according to plan, you could see some truly legendary plant-based fish popping up in sushi 🍥🍥 across Europe by 2022.

Would you try “alt salmon” fresh from the 3D printer? Click the button to join the discussion! 👇🏻👇🏻

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