Isreali startup develops fish-free Tuna as scientists discover high levels of forever chemicals in freshwater fish

ISRAEL –Vgarden ltd, an Isreali food technology startup, has developed fish-free tuna claiming that it replicates the complete sensory experience of actual tuna.

Tuna is the most consumed fish in the world with an estimated market size of US$41.06 billion.

According to data from business Insights, the global market is anticipated to grow to US$49.7 billion in 2029.

As it is highly demanded, overfishing of tuna has become rampant, negatively affecting their numbers and putting some of its species at risk of extinction.

This is what prompted the Israelian company to develop a plant-based alternative to canned tuna which they hope will contribute to the restoration of tuna population in the ocean.

Vgarden’s tuna uses pea protein as its primary source of protein together with other ingredients that not only give it the desired organoleptic characteristics but also make it possible to scale it for mass production.

The other ingredients include sunflower oil and fibre and because none of the ingredients are sourced from the marine ecosystem, the tuna contains no toxic metals or any other ocean pollutants.

It is also packaged into two formats; pouches for chilled storage and tins which can withstand high temperatures without altering the integrity of the product.

Forever chemicals found in fish

 Meanwhile, scientists in the united states of America are warning fish consumers of alarming levels of ‘forever chemicals’ found in fish harvested from river streams and lakes across the US.

Forever chemicals is a name given to Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) that belong to a group of manmade chemicals whose molecules are made up of a chain linking carbon and fluorine atoms.

The bond between the carbon and the fluorine atoms is so strong such that these chemicals do not degrade in the environment, hence the name forever chemicals.

The scientists from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) EWG warn that eating one freshwater fish once every month for a year is equivalent to consuming water with PFOS at 48 parts per trillion (ppt) for a month.

The amount of these chemicals in the fish is staggering, according to Scott Faber, EWG’s senior vice president for government affairs.

This contamination is attributed to the pollution of water bodies by industries and their manufacturing facilities that dump their waste into rivers and lakes.

Scientific evidence has linked PFOS-infected water or food to lowered immunity in humans and may lead to liver damage, thyroid disease, hormone suppression and increased susceptibility to certain cancers. It also lowers immunity.

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