Koralo Debuts With ‘New F!sh’, South Korea’s First Microalgae & Mycelium-Based Fish Fillet

Koralo, a German fermentation startup developing alt seafood in South Korea, has introduced its first product, New F!sh, in collaboration with partner restaurants Stylevegan and Monks Butcher in Seoul. The startup claims that New F!sh is the first of its kind fish fillet in the South Korean alternative seafood category.

Koralo creates innovative clean-label seafood alternatives using microalgae and mycelium in a co-fermentation process. The company’s approach captures the oceanʼs nutrition by feeding microalgae to mycelium, mimicking the algae-based eating habits of fish.

“A new paradigm for seafood”

Working with local partners, the New F!sh product has been tailored to the region’s palate. According to Koralo, after many tests, the fillets have a juicy and flakey texture that doesn’t fall apart. Moreover, the product offers an authentic fish flavor while being low in calories and fat.

Providing the nutrients extracted from microalgae and mushroom roots, New F!sh is said to be rich in nutrients beyond traditional seafood, including omega-3, proteins, probiotics, and vitamins B2 and B12. Additionally, it stands out for its cooking versatility, allowing chefs to grill, steam, stew, or fry it without any hassle.

Fish tacos on a wooden board
Image courtesy of Koralo

A paradigm shift

Koralo, founded by Sina Albanese in 2022, has established a subsidiary in South Korea — the country with the highest per-capita seafood consumption worldwide. 

The food tech startup explains that it is scaling up its fermentation platform also in Europe (where it is building a pilot facility), set to enter the European and US markets within the next two years.

However, for now, it is focusing on the South Korean market. For next year, the company has announced expansion plans, including signing agreements with restaurants, meal kits, and food service distributors and entering retail to reach more consumers. In addition, the company says it is working on product development to launch shrimp and salmon alternatives.

Regarding sustainability, the biotech states that its product results in considerably lower CO2 emissions and land and blue water use than soy protein and other seafood options. Its approach aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, emphasizing the importance of sustainable, nutrient-rich food production.

“A new paradigm for seafood – mitigating a global seafood supply shortage,” says Sina Corallo.

Koralo launches a new mycelium and microalgae fish fillet in South Korea
Image courtesy of Koralo

The oceanʼs nutrition

Koralo has received cumulative investment and grants of €3.3 million supported by investors such as Fraunhofer Technologie-Transfer Fonds, Green Generation Fund, and Big Bang Angels. Government institutions, academia, and corporate partners in Europe and South Korea have also backed Koralo’s oceanʼs nutrition approach to make alternatives to seafood.

Koralo is a member of Future Ocean Foods, the world’s first alternative seafood association, dedicated to propelling the alt seafood industry into a new era. The alliance already has 36 companies on board, spanning 14 countries. 40% of its members are women founders, like Koralo, and this percentage is set to increase, according to Marissa Bronfman, founder and Executive Director of the alliance. 

“With an international and two-generational team; entrepreneurship, food innovation, and a big drive for sustainability come together in a journey to explore the opportunities the ocean gives us,” says Koralo on its website.

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