2nd May 2022 By Bridget O'Connell | firstname.lastname@example.org | @foodtickernz
Biotechnology and future food company New Fish has released its first product and has won backing for a project aiming to unlock greater value from New Zealand’s pāua industry.
The company, led by general manager Hamish Howard, is developing a range of ultra-premium seafood products for international export.
First off the block is what it said is a “world first” NewFish Pāua Saucisson – a naturally fermented French-style salami – using Blackfoot Pāua with innovative fermentation techniques and ingredients including free farmed Kurobuta Pork, Akaroa Kelp and Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.
NewFish products embrace the “whole fish” or full-utilisation philosophy, by including all components of the kaimoana used in their creation, according to Howard, and Amisfield chef Vaughan Mabee is at the helm of the company’s culinary development.
Howard said the venture partnered with premium foodservice distributor The Produce Company to get the product into the golden triangle of Auckland, Tauranga and Hamilton being the initial focus.
“It has very much been a soft launch, but we will be getting out into the market this month and are looking to launch through New Zealand’s leading restaurants.”
The product is also available through NewFish’s D2C channel.
Alongside the launch, a NewFish-led consortium has also just received $48,348 of funding from the High Value Nutrition National Science Challenge for a research project on New Zealand’s Blackfoot Pāua.
It has partnered with the Riddet Institute, food science consultant MacDonald & Associates, and pāua company PāuaCo on the project.
NewFish said pāua is a “true taonga” and widely treasured in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Despite this, the vast majority of New Zealand’s commercial pāua harvest is canned for export after being bleached to make the unique mollusc look like abalone species found elsewhere in the world.
As a result, New Zealand’s Blackfoot Pāua are seen as inferior and of lesser value. Furthermore, the by-products of this process, the skirt and hua (gonads and viscera) of the pāua, are both under-valued and under-utilised, according to NewFish.
The company said it embarked on the research to validate the known benefits of Blackfoot Pāua and would do so by identifying relevant bioactive and health-promoting compounds within the pāua meat, skirt and hua.
“This project will collate knowledge of Blackfoot Pāua from a variety of sources and consider fermented Blackfoot Pāua as an aid to digestive health,” NewFish said.
“It is expected that this approach will create further opportunities for New Zealand’s Pāua Industry to add value to products developed in line with cultural and environmental best practices.”
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