Vegetarian solutions: fish and seafood alternatives address growing demand

Published: 12-Mar-2024

These plant-based ingredients can be utilised in hot or cold dishes, mimicking many types of fish

In the past four years, the number of product launches in the plant-based fish and seafood alternative space has skyrocketed. 

According to market research company Innova Market Insights, this is set to continue. They project average annual growth of 28.5% through 2029. 

The increasing importance of plant-based products was clearly evident at the recent Fish International trade show in Bremen, where major convenience food manufacturers came to the fair without fish, presenting only their plant-based alternatives. 

At the Planteneers booth, visitors likewise showed great interest in all the many possibilities offered by the company’s fiildFish functional systems. 

“The growth in fish and seafood alternatives is no surprise when you consider the many advantages of plant-based products,” commented Dr. Pia Meinlschmidt, Team Lead Product Management at Planteneers. “For example, they help to reduce overfishing of the seas and the resulting decline in fish stocks. There are also no by-catch issues.”


Fish Alternatives for Eating Cold

Despite that, they are completely convincing in flavour and texture, as shown by the alternatives to smoked salmon offered by Planteneers. 

With the fiildFish P 161004 system it is possible to make plant-based alternatives to raw and smoked fish, whether sushi, sashimi, or smoked salmon. 

The system is based on a complex combination of plant proteins, starches, and hydrocolloids. The colour and flavour results can also eve adjusted to mimic various fish types. 

The end products slice fine and feature the white stripes so typical of salmon, making the plant-based product visually very similar to the animal original. The same goes for the flavour, as Dr. Meinlschmidt notes.


Alternatives to White Fish for Hot Preparation

Whether plain or breaded filet, nuggets, or sticks, whether whitefish fillet with sauce (tray-baked) or a ready meal, fiildFish P 141504 supplies the basis for a variety of hot preparation foods. 

One special feature is the typically fish-like lamella structure, as well as its white colour. 

“The system is a combination of hydrocolloids, plant proteins, and starches, and is processed in two stages, thus giving rise to the lamella structure. We’re more than a little proud of the white appearance, which was definitely a challenge to get, since plant proteins are often yellow,” says Dr. Meinlschmidt. 

The final products are freeze-thaw stable, making them perfect for deep-frozen convenience foods. 


Seafood Alternatives for Hot and Cold Use

Planteneer’s functional system for making alternatives to seafoods like shrimp and calamari offers many possibilities. It’s based on a combination of hydrocolloids and starches, and the final products have an authentic texture and tender bite. 

They are suitable for eating cold or hot, can be made alone or breaded, and can be grilled or fried. Being freeze-thaw stable, they are ideal for convenience and ready meals, as well as deli salads and antipasti.



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