Products & Launches

NotCo Develops Plant-Based Turtle Soup Alternative to Combat Sea Turtle Decline

Food technology leader NotCo has created a plant-based solution to turtle soup aimed at preserving the global green sea turtle population while respecting the culinary traditions of the many countries that still consume turtle meat.

The newly developed NotTurtle Soup leverages NotCo’s advanced AI technology coupled with the culinary expertise of Peruvian Chef Diego Oka to create a dish that replicates the taste and texture of real turtle meat without the turtle.

“If Giuseppe can replicate Green Sea Turtle Soup in just two weeks […] just imagine what else we can do with technology”

Climate change and habitat loss are major factors in the decline of green sea turtles, with nesting females estimated at only 85,000, according to The Sea Turtle Conservancy. However, consumption of traditional dishes such as turtle soup continues to drive their endangerment. Despite legal protections, the demand persists, particularly in regions like Peru, Ecuador, and Mexico, where the dish forms a part of the cultural heritage.

NotCo NotTurtle peru
NotTurtle in Peru © NotCo

Collaborating with Chef Oka, the initiative began with a research trip to the Cayman Islands, one of the few locations where turtle meat can still be legally consumed. This allowed the team to gather necessary insights into the traditional preparation of turtle soup, which were then used to guide the development process back in San Francisco, leveraging NotCo’s AI technology, “Giuseppe.”

When humans and tech come together

Giuseppe’s latest challenge was to replicate the flavor and texture of green sea turtle meat, a task it accomplished by analyzing over 300,000 plant species and evaluating 260 quintillion potential combinations. This led to a selection of five proteins that closely mimic the qualities of turtle meat, culminating in a recipe for NotTurtle Soup.

Chef Oka noted the positive impact of integrating AI into culinary practices: “A lot of people are scared of AI right now. But this is an amazing way of showing that when humans and tech come together, we can solve any problem. NotCo’s AI technology cut this research & development time down significantly. With that type of speed, efficiency, and accuracy, the opportunities are endless.”

© NotCo

“Just imagine what else we can do with technology”

NotCo has released a documentary detailing the journey of creating NotTurtle Soup in Peru. The creation, not a current product development to be launched on the market, comes along with an “online master class that will inform professionals on how to make it for consumers, so we minimize the consumption of green sea turtle meat,” stated a spokesperson.

“We have a powerful AI platform that can help solve long-standing industry problems and more. If Giuseppe can replicate Green Sea Turtle Soup in just two weeks, not only are we providing an alternative to an endangered species, it’s a way to say ‘just imagine what else we can do with technology,'” stated Matias Muchnick, CEO of NotCo.

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