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Growing Fungi on Seaweed to Develop New Seafood Products

Updated: Aug 24, 2023

Dr Leonie Jahn from the Technical University of Denmark is working with Diego Prado, head of research at Copenhagen’s two Michelin-starred Alchemist, as part of a study funded by the Good Food Institute to create a new seafood product by growing fungi on seaweed.

The goal is to eventually create a ‘whole-cut’ product with the texture of seafood, by using the fungi to ferment seaweed in a process similar to the production of the soybean-based dish tempeh and “to create a unique and delicious product that is good enough to be served at a fine dining restaurant, using natural ingredients with seaweed providing flavours of the sea and the mycelium adding to an attractive texture” - Diego Prado.

Using fermentation to create sustainable seafood can help to satisfy growing seafood demand without further harming the marine habitats.

Alchemist restaurant in Copenhague is also exploring other amazing food based fungi inovation such as:

1. The Alchemist Explore team, led by Diego Prado (left)

2. A dish where you eat the whole petri dish, including the raw fresh oyster mushroom mycelium. Water replaced with oyster mushroom broth, mixed it with malt extract, agar agar, iota and yeast extract to create a flavoursome version of a PDA where the mushroom mycelium can also grow. Then the whole thing can be eaten with the gel at the bottom and the mycelium on top, just seasoned with some drops of Sherry wine and reduced mushroom broth.

3. Research in toxic algae from Professor Per Juhl Hansen of the University of Copenhagen, is inspiring the restaurant’s upcoming work on working with algae and seaweed

4. Using Aspergillius oryzae to make an alternative to coffee or koji, using the already roasted toasted barley grains. The goal is to harness the mold's ability for unlocking fruity aromas and flavors, enhancing the roasted barley giving it a complexity similar to the one found in coffee.

5. Brettanomyces is the microorganism mainly responsible for the flavour profile found in spontaneously fermented beers. This is due to their ability to metabolize a broad range of molecules. The restaurant is currently studying it to unlock flavors and aromas in plant material that would otherwise go to waste.

Check them out:











Photo credits: Søren Gammelmark, BFI Europe







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