SimpliiGood by AlgaeCore Technologies Ltd., has introduced a breaded chicken cutlet analog composed primarily of microalgae spirulina. The plant-based version of a breaded cut of chicken is designed to take on the appearance, flavor and structure of real chicken breast while having a nutritional profile. The company says cut is composed of 80% minimally processed spirulina microalgae, to which is added prebiotic fibers. The new adaptation offers health and environmentally conscious consumers a clean-label, alternative to chicken nuggets and brings versatility to the way the highly concentrated nutrition of microalgae can be consumed, according to the company. 

"We started out as cultivators of fresh spirulina," explains Lior Shalev, CEO and co-founder of SimpliiGood. "But then we began to think of ways we can take the formulation of this highly sought ingredient beyond the boundary of the capsule matrix and into the mainstream of the plant-based food landscape. Microalgae such as spirulina is a high-value and eco-friendly alternative protein source. That's how we evolved into spirulina innovators."

Spirulina has a rich composition of whole protein and a profile of vitamins and minerals. It is a good source of iron, calcium, B vitamins, essential fatty acids and antioxidants, according to the company.

SimpliiGood asserts that in this form the blue-green algae is delivered with a bioavailable, nutrient content. It has no off-flavors or aromas.

"Leveraging the unique properties of fresh spirulina on our proprietary texturizing platform addresses the problematic sensory challenges while enhancing its potency and functionality," explains Shalev. "This broadens its applications beyond the exceptional nutritional profile and high concentration of protein to being a clean-label potential to replace thickeners, stabilizers, emulsifiers, binders, texturizers in multiple applications. Plus our naturally color-free version is an excellent replacer for synthetic colorants."

Baruch Dach, SimpliiGood's founder and CTO explains that its creation has been a work in progress. "Starting from a minced prototype to achieving the next level of complexity of recreating whole a chicken breast filet in both succulent texture and appearance," says Dach. "It possesses a completely neutral taste, giving the formulator a 'blank canvas' to add whatever flavors desired. One can also use it as the basis for a hybrid product, infusing a minimal dose of real chicken into the spirulina matrix, or apply it as an extender to support and nutritionally enhance ground meat formulations."

Beyond attaining the desired sensorial properties, the company says one of the greatest hurdles in producing plant-based alternatives is incorporating sufficient protein and nutrients to bring them nutritionally on par with animal-based proteins.

The company says its nuggets analog offers a dense bite. "100 grams of SimpliGood microalgae provides the equivalent of 200 grams of real chicken in protein load," says Dach. "Each cut packs in 30% highly bioavailable protein. Combined with its rich natural makeup of micronutrients, it offers a potent alternative to animal protein with exceptional nutritional value. By consuming less while gaining more, it also contributes to reducing waste and energy consumption, streamlining the supply chain, and minimizing the overall downstream carbon footprint."