TORONTO-(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, plant-based seafood producer New School Foods publicly announced its patented, scalable technologies for the plant-based meat industry capable of producing whole-cut fish alternatives that look and cook just like regular seafood. The company also announced $12 million in seed funding from global investors including Lever VC, Blue Horizon, Hatch, Good Startup, Alwyn Capital, Joyance Partners, as well as grants from multiple agencies, including Protein Industry Canada.
For three years, New School Foods CEO Christopher Bryson has invested heavily in academic R&D projects with some of the world’s leading food science universities and identified a scalable platform that delivers a number of firsts for the alternative meat industry :
1. Muscle fibers made from plants: It reproduces the diameter, length, strength and structure of fish muscle fibers to provide the same texture and mouthfeel.
2. Overall Scaffolding: Fillet, which combines targeted muscle fibers with vegetable connective tissue, fat, color and flavor.
3. Raw to Cooked: Unlike almost all other products on the market that are pre-cooked by production, New School Foods’ cold processing technology creates a fillet that starts out raw and transforms like a fish when cooked.
4. Scalable by Design: Unlike many other new food processing technologies, the New School Foods process uses off-the-shelf equipment from neighboring industries, providing a superior ability to scale more globally.
The alternative protein market as a whole has yet to address its biggest opportunity: whole cuts, which account for the majority of North American meat sales. Whole cuts come with a host of complex challenges such as texture, connective tissue, muscle fibers, and other macrostructures that exist in animal proteins.
While established manufacturing methods such as high-moisture extrusion use high temperatures that precook food and denature proteins, New School Foods’ technology uses a series of cold-based processes, yielding a product that is “raw” and transitions to cooked, preserving cooking as close as possible to regular salmon.
“The next frontier for meat alternatives is whole cuts, and from day one we realized that New School Foods needed to solve two highly interconnected problems: the quality of meat alternatives on the market and the limited tooling our industry uses to produce them,” said Chris Bryson , CEO and founder of New School Foods. “What’s generally available to consumers now are rubbery, ground-up, pre-cooked products that won’t convince the average customer to change their lifelong habits.”
New School Foods will continue to focus on research and development, using the $12 million raised in seed funding to expand its team of food scientists, scale up its scaffolding technology, and build a research and manufacturing facility.
“We invested in New School Foods because they realized that existing production technologies in plant-based meat production were insufficient to create a complete product that consumers really wanted to eat,” said Nick Cooney, general partner at Lever Ventures. “Their technology is unlike anything else we’ve seen in the industry in terms of truly mimicking the texture, mouthfeel and experience of cooking and eating whole cuts of meat.”
New School Foods is also announcing the launch of a chef-only pilot program as they look to roll out their salmon alternative to many restaurants across North America in 2023. Chefs interested in joining can apply today at newschoolfoods.co.
About the new school meals
Founded in 2020 and based in Toronto, Canada, New School Foods Inc. develops fully cut plant-based seafood that emulates the same texture, flavor, nutritional benefits and cooking experience of conventional seafood.