Food tech startup Aqua Cultured Foods recently announced it has begun buildout of a new facility that will enable the company to begin scaling production of its whole-cut plant-based seafood.

The new West Loop space on West Carroll Avenue in Chicago nods to the area’s meatpacking history, its current status as a foodie destination and its influx of high-tech companies.

The new facility, which is nearly triple the size of Aqua’s current headquarters, is already food-grade and needs minimal upgrades to customize it to scale production of its fermentation-enabled protein. Aqua’s methods are space-efficient, akin to vertical farming and use standard equipment, allowing for rapid and affordable buildout.

“This move is the final step on the road to commercialization of our alt-seafood, and it’s what we and our supporters have been waiting for,” said Anne Palermo, CEO of Aqua. “Since the new location already meets all the key regulations for food production, we can scale manufacturing quickly, and product introductions with our go-to-market partners will follow.”

Aqua is developing ultra-realistic calamari, shrimp, scallops and filets of tuna and whitefish with proprietary mycoprotein fermentation processes that do not use any animal inputs, genetic altering or modification. Unlike plant-based processed foods formulated with starches and protein isolates, Aqua’s alt-seafood retains its naturally occurring fiber, protein and other micronutrients. For images, visit

Aqua is currently holding tasting events with strategic partners including restaurants, and expects to introduce products in Q2 2023.

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Source: Aqua Cultured Foods