In recent years, the demand for caviar, the prized delicacy obtained from wild sturgeon fish, has soared to unprecedented heights. However, the consequence of this surge in demand has been detrimental to the sturgeon population, pushing all 26 species to the brink of extinction.
To tackle this issue and provide a sustainable solution, US based, Optimized Foods has reimagined the traditional process of caviar production, offering guiltless luxury taking sustainability to new heights.
Source: Optimized Foods
'Our goal is to create a delicious and sustainable alternative to traditional caviar, without harming the sturgeon population,' says Minami Ogawa, co-founder of Optimized Foods, the company behind the cultured caviar.
'With our guilt-free luxury, consumers can now indulge in the exquisite taste of caviar while contributing to a more sustainable future'.
The journey of cultured caviar begins with the careful selection of living cells from a sturgeon sample. These cells are then cultivated using a process known as immortalisation, which allows for the long-term use of the cell line, reducing the need for future animal cell sampling. By prioritising sustainability and conservation, the cultured caviar ensures the sturgeon population is protected for generations to come.
'Our guilt-free luxury is not just about satisfying culinary desires but also about safeguarding the environment and preserving endangered species,' adds Minami Ogawa.
'We want to offer consumers an exceptional experience without compromising our planet's future.' said Minami Ogawa on a recent CBS news item.
Once the cell line is established, Optimized Foods scientists place cells on their unique edible MycoCarrier growing platform called a scaffold. This scaffold provides the structure for the cells to grow, replicating the authentic texture and mouthfeel associated with high-end caviar. By combining sustainability with luxury, the cultured caviar sets a new standard for indulgence.
Source: Optimized Foods
'Our cultured caviar presents an extraordinary experience with its remarkably smooth dissolve, subtle buttery notes, and nutty undertones,' says Cody Yothers, co-founder of Optimized Foods.
'With hints of seaweed, light saltiness, and a clean, fresh finish, our cultured caviar offers a sensory journey rivalling traditional caviar.'
But Optimized Foods commitment to sustainability goes beyond revolutionising caviar production. By utilising agricultural by-products that would otherwise go to waste, they create a nutritious and environmentally friendly protein food source for the cells to grow. This approach not only minimises waste but also contributes to a more sustainable and circular food system.
So what does it taste like? Check this video out.
Source: Cultured Meat and Future Food Show
Optimized Foods is currently in discussion with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on obtaining approval for their cultured caviar.
For more information about cultured caviar CLICK HERE
For more background on the production process click on the video below.
Source: US Davis CAES