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GFI Releases PISCES to Help Develop Plant-Based Seafood Products

Food and Beverages | Monday, August 31, 2020

Given the lack of any equivalent centralized resource tailored to the alternative seafood research community, PISCES will help researchers develop plant-based seafood products.

FREMONT, CA: Good Food Institute’s (GFI) releases PISCES, a new data navigation tool that aims to serve as a one-stop resource for researchers and food tech startups pursuing plant-based and cultivated seafood alternatives. It is created by the GFI’s Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SSI), an initiative to boost innovation and commercialization of sustainable, safe, ethical, and crisis-resilient seafood solutions.

PISCES stands for the Phylogenetic Index of Seafood CharactEriStics, and it represents a compilation of all the resources needed to individual seafood species within the context of developing sustainable seafood alternatives.

To produce alternative seafood products that truly match conventional counterparts on key attributes like taste, texture, color, and aroma, understanding them at the cellular and molecular level is mandatory. Some data that will feature in the tool include the scientific and common names of the species, a link to any available genome or mitochondrial genome sequences, any cell lines that could be required, academic publications, nutritional data and data on volatile compounds that can influence flavors and smells of the alternative protein product formulation.

PISCES will also provide information for users on the prices of different conventional seafood products on the market, and its associated greenhouse gas emissions. Over time, the SSI will be adding more data to the tool and also work with researchers to create new empirical data to be combined into future versions of PISCES.

Innovation and solutions in the alternative seafood sector is vital to make the global food system more sustainable. Current seafood production methods are negatively affecting planetary health. Developing plant-based and cultivated seafood products will help the world meet its seafood and protein demands while significantly reducing the negative environmental consequences of traditional seafood production.

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