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Gulfood Green 2024

28 Mar 2024

‘World’s first’ meat-free octopus tentacles mimic ‘intense colour and distinct suckers’

‘World’s first’ meat-free octopus tentacles mimic ‘intense colour and distinct suckers’

You’ve heard of plant-based burgers, vegan nuggets, and perhaps even fish-free tuna. But whole cut meat-free octopus tentacles, with ‘distinct suckers’ to boot?

The reason you likely haven’t come across meat-free octopus tentacles is because Revo Foods claims to be the first to market. The Austrian start-up has coined the invention The Kraken – Inspired by Octopus.

How is a meat-free octopus tentacle made?​

Although marketed as a plant-based product, the primary ingredient in Revo’s meat-free octopus actually comes from the fungi kingdom. Mycoprotein is best known for adding a ‘meaty’ texture to meat alternatives, and Revo is already using it in its 3D printed vegan salmon filet product​.

Aside from being environmentally sustainable and nutrient-rich – mycoprotein is a source of protein, fibre, minerals and vitamins – the ingredient also requires ‘significantly less’ processing compared to commonly used raw materials in plant-based alternatives, which Revo says preserves more micronutrients.

The result is a product with high amounts of fibre, omega-3 fatty acids, and fibre. The Kraken achieves a Nutri-Score ‘A’.

As to the manufacturing process itself, CEO Robin Simsa revealed the company is currently experimenting with a new 3D structuring technology for its meat-free octopus product. But being a ‘complex’ new production method does come with limitations.

“Therefore, we are launching The Kraken now as a limited edition to observe feedback from the market and our distribution partners and might release it on a wider scale at the end of the year.”

Mimicking colour and texture of the real thing

One of the most distinct characteristics of Revo’s new product is its colour, which aims to mimic the vibrancy of the real thing. “Octopus tentacles, with their intense colour and distinct suckers are a very special product with an exciting look,” said Revo’s head of foodtech Nicoollo Galizzi.

To achieve the right pigments, the start-up experimented with a number of different natural colourings, revealed CEO Rimsa, adding that achieving the ‘typical octopus colour’ is no mean feat. “I believe we achieved quite authentic results with natural colours derived from carrot, blueberry, paprika and sweet potato in a combination.”

Texture was another key focus area for Revo, who is working with mycoprotein also for its ‘fibrousness’, which requires less processing to create textures and mouthfeel.

Octopus is often described as having a firm but tender texture. Rimsa describes the texture of The Kraken as ‘a bit less chewy’ compared to conventional octopus, and explained the texture changes depending on the use case. “The good and unique thing about The Kraken is that it can be prepared both for cold and hot meals,” he told FoodNavigator.

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