Umami Meats and Steakholder Foods introduce world’s first cultivated fish fillet

June 1, 2023

Umami Meats and Steakholder Foods have produced the world’s first cultivated whole fish fillet

This achievement marks a significant milestone in the development of sustainable alternatives to traditional fishing methods and showcases the potential of cultivated seafood such as fish fillet.

Umami Meats, a Singapore-based TechBio company specialising in the production of cultivated seafood, joined forces with Steakholder Foods, an international deep tech food company leading the cultivated meat industry, to combine their expertise.

The collaboration, supported by a grant from the Singapore-Israel Industrial R&D Foundation (SIIRD), aimed to develop a scalable process for producing structured cultivated fish products using advanced technologies.

The showcased fillet was cultivated from grouper cells, a species listed as “Vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Grouper is said to hold immense cultural importance in Asia and is frequently served at significant occasions such as weddings, banquets, and Lunar New Year gatherings.

Unfortunately, the wild populations of grouper are facing a risk of extinction, and traditional aquaculture operations have limited potential to farm-raise these fish. Umami Meats’ cell cultivation technology provides a viable solution to meet the demand for this cherished species without further endangering its survival.

During a tasting event held at Steakholder Foods’ facilities in Israel, key figures in the industry and representatives from Umami Meats and Steakholder Foods gathered to celebrate this significant achievement.

Among the attendees were Mihir Pershad, CEO of Umami Meats, Arik Kaufman, CEO of Steakholder Foods, Megumi Avigail Yoshitomi from the Japan Association for Cellular Agriculture, and Adele Li,business manager at the Embassy of the Republic of Singapore in Israel. The event featured a “grouper fish chef’s table” where renowned chef Moran Lidor prepared a variety of delicacies, including both Singaporean and Israeli signature fish dishes.

The successful production of the whole cultivated fish fillet not only demonstrates the potential of cultivated products to achieve the desired flakiness, taste, and aroma but also highlights the significant role of Steakholder Foods’ 3D bioprinting technology. Unlike traditional 3D printing approaches, the fillet is ready to cook immediately after printing, offering increased production speed and reduced costs.

Umami Meats and Steakholder Foods are now focused on optimising the nutritional profile of the cultivated fish fillet to match the amino acid, omega-3 fatty acid, and micronutrient content found in high-quality fish products. Furthermore, the companies are working towards scaling up production, preparing for regulatory submissions, and collaborating with traditional food producers to develop applications tailored to the Asian market.

Arik Kaufman, CEO of Steakholder Foods, expressed excitement about the collaboration, emphasising their commitment to developing sustainable solutions that enhance food security while maintaining the great taste and texture associated with traditionally caught fish. With the seafood and fish market estimated to be worth $110 billion and projected annual growth of 3-4%, Steakholder Foods sees immense potential for introducing these alternative products.

Mihir Pershad, CEO of Umami Meats, conveyed his delight in partnering with Steakholder Foods to produce the world’s first cultivated fish fillet. He highlighted the outstanding qualities of the cultivated product, stating that it possesses the perfect flakiness, taste, and melt-in-your-mouth texture expected from excellent fish. Looking ahead, Umami Meats intends to announce plans for bringing this remarkable cultivated fish to the market in the near future.

By harnessing cutting-edge technologies and addressing the environmental impact of traditional fishing, these companies are paving the way for a more secure and ecologically responsible future. The successful cultivation of the whole fish fillet underscores the potential for cultivated seafood to provide consumers with the flavours and experiences they desire while preserving the oceans and precious marine species.

See also : Pew Trust commends fisheries commission for for seminal moment in new bluefin tuna management

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