Yemoja, a marine ingredient startup, has announced that they are developing an ingredient out of red microalgae used to make vegan meat more realistic.

This red microalgae gives vegan meat a red juiciness that is similar to the bloodiness of meat. It may not sound appetizing, but it can make a huge difference in how vegan meat is recognized among meat-eaters.

Because the ingredient, called Ounje, is made from red algae, there is no need for artificial coloring. It is able to remain true to its color whether in raw form or when cooked, even congealing much like real meat juices do. It also is packed with nutrients that add to the nutritional value of the meat alternative.

Amikam Bar-Gil, Ph.D., co-founder and CTO of Yemoja, said, “While working on a new formulation for cosmetic applications, we serendipitously discovered that this specific composition yields a substance that resembles blood in appearance and texture. Encouraged by the first test results, we decided to push the boundaries further and take it to the next level, trying it out in test products. The results were an immediate proof of concept.”

Erez Ashkenazi, co-founder, and CEO, said, “The demand for clean, naturally sourced alternative proteins that can dually exert a less harmful impact on the environment is an internationally sought venture. Our advanced patented cultivation system offers a high-value yet cost-effective solution that can be easily scaled up to the unique needs of the various alt protein/meat producers to help bolster this rapidly growing category.”

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