We’ve heard of vegan meat made from plants before, soon we’ll be able to taste a product based on micro-algae with a shrimp flavor.
Currently, microalgae are already used as non-fish food in aquaculture. Scientists have used this idea to make a product that could replace shrimp eaten by humans. Indeed, although shrimp can be raised on farms, most are still caught in the wild using giant nets. Fishing in the wild has its drawbacks since it can lead to overfishing and impacts other species that are not the target.
Thus, with a view to developing a greener alternative shrimp fishing, Dr. Lukas Böcker and Dr. Severin Eder from ETH Zurich decided to study microalgae. These organisms can be grown sustainably in ponds or bioreactors, and in addition, they are sources of various proteins, unsaturated fats, vitamins and minerals.
The preparation technique
In order to obtain the taste and nutritional values of shrimp, scientists combine a certain type of micro-algae with other vegetable protein sources such as pea flour or soybeans. The researchers use a special tube to shape the mixture into the shape of shrimp.
For the moment, the finished product is described as resembling “little salty gummy bears”.
There is still a long way to go
According to scientists, by making experiments with other manufacturing techniques, they will soon be able to better replicate the taste and texture of shrimp. They hope a finished product can be ready by the end of the year. After that, the next step will be to use the micro-algae to create products similar to crab meat or scallop meat.
Eder explains that with the technology and platform they have developed, they will not only be able to obtain an authentic taste and texture from the microalgae, but the product created will have the nutritional qualities of fish and seafood. .
Let’s wait to see if these “fake shrimps” can deceive the delicate palate of seafood lovers.