Israel's Steakholder Foods has produced what it says are the world's first whole fillets of cultivated fish … grouper, to be precise.
Last year, OGN wrote about a company called Wildtype in San Francisco - one of a handful of cell-cultivated seafood companies in the US. It’s growing sushi-grade coho salmon in tanks similar to those found in breweries – no fishing or farming required. Indeed, no fish are required.
Now, Steakholder Foods is producing grouper fillets via a partnership with Singapore's Umami Meats. The latter supplied natural grouper cells, which Steakholder cultivated and incorporated into a 3D-printable bio-ink.
The resulting fillets are ready to cook immediately after being bioprinted, boasting a natural flaky texture thanks to "a newly developed patent-pending technology." By contrast, other lab-grown meats require an incubation and maturation period after being printed.
And yes, the fillets apparently also taste like real grouper - which they are, in a way. At a recent tasting event held at the Steakholder facilities, guests had a chance to sample Singaporean and Israeli-style dishes which incorporated the fillets.
"In this first tasting, we showcased a cultivated product that flakes, tastes, and melts in your mouth exactly like excellent fish should. In the coming months, we intend to announce our plans for bringing this world-class cultivated fish to the market," said Umami Meats CEO, Mihir Pershad.
Advocates say cruelty-free cell-cultivated seafood is a solution to the seafood industry’s many environmental problems, and that sustainable sources of seafood are needed to meet the demand from a growing global population. Entrepreneurs clearly agree.