New startup Seattle Food Tech recently secured a $1 million investment led by firms Fifty Years and Blue Horizon. The brand developed a vegan chicken nugget—made from textured wheat, chicken-less flavoring, cornstarch, oil, and corn breading—using a proprietary processing technique that creates a texture that mimics the nuggets’ animal counterpart. Founder Christie Lagally—the former senior scientist at food-advocacy firm Good Food Institute—believes that scalability of meat alternatives largely depends on processing capability and is working with equipment manufacturers to develop large-scale machines specialized in plant-based meat processing. “Fundamentally,” Lagally told media outlet The Spoon, “we can’t replace meat if it’s not convenient, good tasting, priced well, and widely available.” Lagally plans to debut the brand’s vegan chicken nugget at schools and hospital cafeterias by the end of the year at a cost of $2 per serving. Seattle Food Tech is also developing specialized equipment to produce chicken strips—which, when combined with nuggets, represents the two most consumed low-cost chicken products. Once the company is able to scale its production capacity, Lagally said it might launch at big-box stores such as Costco and Walmart.
Photo courtesy of The Spoon