Aqua Cultured Foods Begins Buildout of New Manufacturing Facility for Plant-Based Seafood in Chicago’s West Loop
Food tech startup Aqua Cultured Foods today announced it has begun buildout of a new facility that will enable the company to begin scaling production of its whole-cut plant-based seafood.
The new West Loop space on West Carroll nods to the area’s meatpacking history, its current status as a foodie destination, and its influx of high-tech companies.
The new facility, which is nearly triple the size of Aqua’s current headquarters, is already food-grade and needs minimal upgrades to customize it to scale production of its fermentation-enabled protein. Aqua’s methods are space-efficient, akin to vertical farming, and use standard equipment, allowing for rapid and affordable buildout.
“This move is the final step on the road to commercialization of our alt-seafood, and it’s what we and our supporters have been waiting for,” said Anne Palermo, CEO of Aqua. “Since the new location already meets all the key regulations for food production, we can scale manufacturing quickly, and product introductions with our go-to-market partners will follow.”
Aqua is developing ultra-realistic calamari, shrimp, scallops, and filets of tuna and whitefish with proprietary mycoprotein fermentation processes that do not use any animal inputs, genetic altering or modification. Unlike plant-based processed foods formulated with starches and protein isolates, Aqua’s alt-seafood retains its naturally occurring fiber, protein, and other micronutrients.
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Aqua is currently holding tasting events with strategic partners including restaurants, and expects to introduce products in Q2 2023.
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About Aqua Cultured Foods
Aqua Cultured Foods is an innovative food technology startup developing the worldâs first whole-muscle cut seafood alternatives created through microbial fermentation. Its novel technology produces a sustainable, complete protein source using only a fraction of the resources required by traditional aquaculture. As an R&D company with a focus on product commercialization, Aqua Cultured Foods occupies a unique position in the burgeoning alt-seafood market as well as within the fermentation industry. The companyâs mission is to mitigate global challenges such as overfishing, climate change and feeding the worldâs expanding population with delicious, nutrient-rich foods. Investors include Supply Change Capital, Aera VC, HPA, Sustainable Food Ventures, Hanfield Venture Partners, Lifely VC, Conscience VC, Kingfisher Capital, Big Idea Ventures, and Gonzalo Ramirez Martiarena. For more information visit https://www.aquaculturedfoods.com.
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