Cell-cultured fat ‘can take alternative meat and fish to next level’
Singapore company aims to close the gap on animal protein products
A cell-cultivated fish fat that makes alternative meat and fish taste more like the real thing has been unveiled to potential investors at an event in Singapore.
ImpacFat held a tasting session at a demonstration day hosted by Big Idea Ventures, a business accelerator for innovative companies working on plant-based and cell-based foods as well as ingredients and technologies to help build the alternative food ecosystem.
Although the market for meat and seafood alternatives is growing, there remains a gap when it comes to the taste and texture of alternative meats and traditional meat sourced from animals grown and slaughtered for their flesh. The reason for this is due to a lack of focus on the production of fats, a crucial ingredient that imparts texture, aroma, and flavour to meats.
Fat cells are an important part of animal meat that enhance good mouthfeel. Examples of such fat include the marbling of beef and toro of sashimi. ImpacFat makes use of the nutritious characteristics of fish fat to enhance texture and juiciness of alternative protein products.
“As a consumer, we may think that fat is bad and want to reduce our fat intake. However, ImpacFat wants the world to know that fat can be good too,” said the Singapore company’s managing director, Mandy Hon.
“Since fat is essential in our diet, why not take the healthiest one? ImpacFat aims to provide the healthiest fat while at the same time protecting the animals and environment.”
Resistant to oxidation
ImpacFat says that its fat, grown from cells in a bioreactor, is enriched with omega-3 fatty acids and is expected to be more resistant to oxidation and other chemical and physical changes.
“Consumers want alternative proteins that exceed the taste and nutrition profiles of the conventional meat and seafood they know and love - a standard most believe the sector has not yet achieved,” said Mirte Gosker, managing director of the Good Food Institute APAC, Asia’s leading alternative protein think tank.
“The addition of cultivated fish fat, developed by expert-led start-ups like ImpacFat, could be exactly what’s needed to take such products to the next level.”