European food technology startup Bluu Seafood says its products made from cultivated fish cells are now market-ready and will soon begin the regulatory approval process.
The company, founded in 2020, will become the first in Europe to sell cell-cultured seafood products if approved.
Bluu Seafood grows products directly from non-GMO trout and salmon cells. These are then enriched with plant proteins to optimize cooking behavior and mouthfeel, the company said.
The first cell-based products to be offered by the startup will be fish fingers and fish balls.
The German company said Tuesday it will be targeting initial approval and market launch in Singapore by the end of 2023, as the regulatory process there is already well-defined. The company will also apply for approval in the United States, the UK and the EU.
"With the completion of our first products, we can demonstrate visible and edible results after less than two years of operational work. This officially makes us the first company in Europe to produce cultivated fish. We are now working closely with regulatory agencies to clear the way for market launch and are using the time to focus on scaling," founder and CEO Sebastian Rakers said.
In addition to fish balls and fish fingers, Bluu Seafood has also developed prototypes of more complex products such as fillets and sashimi.
Investments in alternative seafood products nearly doubled in 2021 over levels the year before, according to a report from the nonprofit group Good Food Institute (GFI).
A total of $175 million (€162 million) was invested in companies producing or planning to produce seafood made from plant material, grown from cells or produced using a fermentation process. The investment reflects a 92 percent increase from the $91 million (€84.3 million) invested in the sector in 2020.
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