Steakholder Foods Ltd., an international deep tech food company at the forefront of the cultivated meat industry, announced that it has successfully printed the first ready-to-cook cultivated grouper fish product. As part of the strategic partnership, Steakholder Foods customized its bio-inks utilizing grouper cells provided by Singapore-based Umami Meats Pte Ltd.
In simpler words, the grouper fillets are made from cells of the fish that are cultivated and then transferred to special 3D printers.
According to Arik Kaufman, CEO of Steakholder Foods, “The flakiness is something that is much more easier to mimic. With our patent-protected printing capabilities, we know to 3D print exactly the same texture and flakiness of a real fish.” Kaufman described this process as ‘clean’ and ‘antibiotics-free’.
Unlike fully cultivated meat products which still require incubation and maturation after printing, the grouper fish product is ready to cook after printing, thanks to Steakholder Foods’ unique technology that allows the mimicking of the flaky texture of cooked fish – technology that is the subject of a provisional patent application.
Arik Kaufman, CEO of Steakholder Foods added, “We’re excited to be working with Umami Meats to develop 3D-printed structured fish products that have the same great taste and texture as traditionally caught fish, without harming the environment. With an estimated size of US$110 billion and projected growth of 3-4% annually in the near future, the seafood and fish market is part of our long-term vision of introducing sustainable solutions that increase food security. Having created a customized bio-ink that works effectively with Umami’s cells and optimized the taste and texture to meet the high standards of consumers, we anticipate expanding our collaborations to a greater variety of species with additional partners.”
Mihir Pershad, CEO of Umami Meats said, “We are delighted to have produced the world’s first whole fillet cultivated fish in partnership with Steakholder Foods. In this first tasting, we showcased a cultivated product that flakes, tastes, and melts in your mouth exactly like what excellent fish should. In the coming months, we intend to announce our plans for bringing this world-class cultivated fish to the market.”
Both partners expect to officially launch its first products in 2024 starting with Singapore, and followed with the US market. Nevertheless, the process which involves diluting a ‘bio-ink’ solution with plant-based ingredients is expensive, and research on fish stem cells is much less extensive than beef and chicken cells. It will take a while before such products make it commercially on the retail shelves.