Alumni Spotlight – Plantruption

Jan 28, 2022

SEEDBED STAR ALUMNI 2021 Plantruption

Founded by Jennifer O’Brien, Plantruption, which is based in Dublin, Ireland, is on a mission to create Ireland’s first plant-based seafood. Through research and collaboration with universities and food technologists, the startup, which became part of the EIT Food Accelerator Network in 2021, has used micro algae and seaweed to create plant-based seafood products that are close in taste and texture to the real deal. 

Plantruption currently has two products on the market; the Irish Sea Weed Burger and Fish Goujons. Both products are sold in Ireland’s leading retail store SuperValu and come in compostable packaging that breaks down in the ocean in 12 weeks. The taste and texture of the products come from a blend of dried red, brown and green seaweeds combined with a mix of protein rich tempeh, vegetable and flavours from the sea.

With 60% of the world’s fish stocks at capacity and 30% completely depleted, the need for plant-based seafood alternatives is clear. Plant based seafood provides a host of environmental benefits, not only alleviating pressures on rapidly depleting fisheries and providing relief to fragile ocean ecosystems, but also reducing the impact of fishing nets on the ocean plastic problem, and reducing production-emissions. 

Seaweed and micro algae is considered to be one of the most sustainable ingredients in the world. Plantruption sources their seaweed locally from the Atlantic shores on the west coast of Ireland. Seaweed can grow up to 3ft per day and is a low-calorie, highly nutritious ingredient, high in iodine, iron, vitamin C, antioxidants, soluble and insoluble fibre, vitamin K and vitamin B-12. 

Plantruption’s long term project is to develop plant-based cod for which they feel there is a gap in the plant-based seafood market. A report from April 2021 suggests that plant-based seafood is set to skyrocket over the next decade, with the market growing 13 fold to a total value of $1.3bnt. Being part of the EIT Food Accelerator Network has helped Plantruption’s Founder Jennifer connect and collaborate with a host of valuable partners who have the knowledge and expertise to help Plantruption make the most of the growing plant-based seafood market. With the advice and support of the EIT FAN programme, Plantruption was able to secure a seed round during the year, that will enable them to continue innovating their product offering and grow their position within the plant-based seafood market. 

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