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HomeFoodStartupThe Food of the Future: The Cultured Tilapia of the Israeli Startup

The Food of the Future: The Cultured Tilapia of the Israeli Startup

The fear of a global food crisis has catapulted the cultured meat market to the size of billions dollars a year. An Israeli company called “E-FISHient Protein” assembled a commando team of experts to achieve as quickly as possible the ability to produce cultured fish on a commercial scale

The need for alternative quality protein sources has turned the cultured meat industry into a market that generates billions. Those who stand out in the field are the Israeli foodtech companies, among them the “BioMeat FoodTech” company, which invests in the field of cultured meat and meat substitutes. Following its commercial success, the company announced the establishment of E-FISHient Protein, a joint startup with the Volcani Institute. The startup will carry out development, production and marketing of cultured fish meat based on non-animal serum.

The company will be led by the E-FISHient’s CEO Dana Levin, BioMeat’s CEO  Gilles Gamon, and its product development will be based on a scientific team headed by Dr Yaakov (Kobi) Biran, specializing in genome editing and neuroendocrine regulation of stress and metabolism in edible fish, with an emphasis on tilapia.

E-FISHient’s R&D creates a technological knowledge base focused on the isolation of cells with the potential to differentiate into muscle cells and long-term storage which will be used as DNA bank (cell line).

The company will direct its activities to turn the acquired knowledge into an effective basis for growing cultured tilapia meat on a commercial scale, with the aim of expanding to cultured meat of other kinds of fish and expanding the range of products that can be developed.

E-FISHient will also undertake the development of an artificial serum that may become a related commercial product of great significance for the cultured meat industry.

How do the fish get to our plate these days?

A population of 3.3 billion people in the world currently eats fish and other seafood, which make up 20% of their protein sources in the Western world (in some parts of the world fish make up to 50% of the daily protein intake). Today most of our fish comes from the fishing industry or aquaculture.

These two sources of industry, marine fishing and fishponds, are in a problematic situation: already today, more than 80% of the world’s fishing areas are used to the limit of the oceans’ ability to renew themselves at a high enough rate to keep up with the fishing. Besides, in a large part of the world’s fishing grounds there is a massive reduction in fish yield as a result of the destruction of the marine ecosystem that produces the marine food.

Even the fish that reach the net, whether by fishing or in the fishponds, are found to be full of parasites, diseases and microplastics.

Furthermore, in the fishponds, the result is a lack of edible fish. Significant contaminations were discovered in the fish farm products. In the US, the FDA has issued a specific warning about tilapia aquaculture, due to it being a source of parasites, chemicals and a host of diseases.

What’s the solution? Cultured tilapia fish fillet

The world already understands that if we do not reach alternative solutions for available protein sources, we are at the threshold of a global food crisis that will affect the entire world’s population.

E-FISHient CEO Dana Levin says: “I am proud to have the opportunity to lead E-FISHient towards becoming a global player at the forefront of innovation in the field of cultured fish production. The enormous ecological damage from the fishing industry together with the expected increase in the world’s population, call for an urgent solution that will provide clean, healthy, nutritious, ecological and high-quality fish meat for us and for the planet. I am happy to promote a futuristic and groundbreaking product. With the help of top-notch research and a commando team of experts, we aim to bring a new message to the world with regard to the fish we humans consume”.

Just last month, the American FDA first approved UPSIDE Foods company’s cultured meat as safe for consumption. This is also a significant step for the E-FISHient, which is targeting the American market, both in terms of the market scope and of the regulatory approval. “Our ambition is to produce cheap, high-quality and delicious fish that will be available to the masses, sums up Levin.

Picture: photo credit: E-FISHient PR

Source E-FISHient Protein

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