The Fish Is Boneless. (Fishless, Too.)

David Yaffe-Bellany Fisheries & Aquaculture

The Fish Is Boneless. (Fishless, Too.)
This salmon, by Wild Type, was grown from cells in a lab. The company is one of several developing seafood alternatives.Credit...Kelsey McClellan for The New York Times

Impossible Foods, the California company behind the meatless Impossible Whopper now available at Burger King, is joining a crowded field of food companies developing alternatives to traditional seafood with plant-based recipes or laboratory techniques that allow scientists to grow fish from cells.

So far, much of Impossible’s work has focused on the biochemistry of fish flavor, which can be reproduced using heme, the same protein undergirding its meat formula, according to Pat Brown, the company’s chief executive. Last month, Impossible’s 124-person research and development team, which the company plans to increase to around 200 by the end of next year, produced an anchovy-flavored broth made from plants, he said.

“It was being used to make paella,” Mr. Brown said. “But you could use it to make Caesar dressing or something like that.”

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