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February 6, 2016

United States

California—New Wave’s Artificial Shrimp, a Review

 

Ariel Schwartz, a writer for TECH INSIDER, a digital publication focused on tech, science, innovation and culture, writes: “After trying a lab-made ‘shrimp’ made of plant proteins and algae, I’d consider giving it up the real thing.  Maybe others will too.”

 

“The shrimp I ate came from New Wave Foods, a startup that just graduated from biotech startup accelerator IndieBio [a startup accelerator which focuses on entrepreneurs building technologies in or around the field of Biotech].  When I first met New Wave’s founders in the fall of 2015, they had been working for eight weeks at IndieBio’s San Francisco lab.”

 

“In early February, I finally tried a breaded version of New Wave’s shrimp.  Here’s what it looked like”:

 

   

 

“It was a little hard to judge the taste because of the breading, but the texture was almost perfect.  The lab-made shrimp had that springiness and mixture of crunch and chew that you’d expect from the real thing.  I could see myself replacing real shrimp with this in some situations.  Whether it could replace shrimp all the time depends on how the product tastes without the breading.”

 

“It’s hard to say at this point whether New Wave can move beyond the niche market of vegetarians and environmentalists and onto grocery store shelves next to real shrimp, where the company aspires to be.  But having a quality product is a good start.”

 

The New Wave team—made up of marine conservationist Dominique Barnes and materials scientist Michelle Wolf—is attempting to create a plant-based shrimp resembling the real thing in time for IndieBio’s demo day, just a few months away.  “We analyzed shrimp on a molecular level to figure out the components.  ...Our ultimate goal is to get to the cocktail shrimp level,” says Barnes.

 

Already, New Wave has a 200-pound order for the product from Google, which is trying to cut down on real shrimp in its cafeterias.  The startup is also working with a kosher sushi company in San Francisco.  Barnes says the New Wave shrimp will be cost-competitive with both real shrimp and other vegan alternatives.

 

Information: Dominique Barnes and Michelle Wolf, New Wave Foods, 485 Jessie Street, San Francisco, California 94610, USA (phone 1-925-360-8386, email mail@florianradke.net, webpage http://www.newwavefoods.com/#about).

 

Source: Tech Insider.  I Tried ‘Shrimp’ Made in a Lab — and Now I’d Consider Ditching the Real Thing.  Ariel Schwartz.  February 5, 2016.

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