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As global population and consumption continues to rise, the United Nations projects that the world will require 28 million metric tons of new seafood production by 2030. The projection is even more dire as levels of marine species continue to decline due to rising ocean temperatures and the effects of overfishing. Fortunately, cell- cultured seafood has emerged as a method to meet that demand. This alternative protein resource is created through a process in which living cells are isolated from fish tissue, placed into culture media for proliferation, and then assembled into edible seafood products.
SCOA investment company BlueNalu’s mission is to develop great-tasting, healthy, safe and trusted cell-cultured seafood products that support sustainability and diversity. The San Diego, California-based company began in 2018 and its mission aligns with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for our planet. Developing seafood products directly from fish cells, this leading innovative food company will now collaborate with leading, multinational sushi restaurant operator Food & Life Companies Ltd. (F&LC), As the largest sushi-restaurant operator in Japan, F&LC operates restaurant brands including Sushiro and Kyotaru brands restaurants operate more than 1,000 restaurants in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, and China. BlueNalu said the two companies plan to collaborate on product development and marketing, with the Japanese company offering support to navigate the regulatory framework in Japan to accelerate BlueNalu’s commercialization in the country.
“With the uncertainty of natural marine resources in the future, it is important that we secure a stable supply of seafood in a more sustainable manner,” said Koichi Mizutome, president and CEO of FOOD & LIFE COMPANIES. “We have already been promoting the use of farmed seafood as one of the ways to achieve this, but as seafood demand increases in the future, there will be increasing challenges with our global supply chain…We look forward to the progress of this collaboration, and to the future when BlueNalu products can be used as sustainable, delicious, healthy, and reliable seafood on our menus.”The agreement focuses on developing a supply-chain solution for Bluefin tuna and other sushi-grade products for the multinational sushi restaurant operator in the Asia-Pacific region, where seafood consumption is highest. 80% of the global supply of Bluefin tuna is consumed in Japan, and commands premium pricing for its delicious flavor and unique sensory characteristics.
SCOA invested in BlueNalu in 2020, and Roy Yanagi, SCOA Food and Agritech Director who also serves on the Clean Farming Task Force in SC Brazil, cites the investment as part of an overall strategy of SCOA and SCOA’s Business Development Group to make food/agricultural value chains more sustainable.
“BlueNalu works toward solutions to the world’s impending protein shortage,” Yanagi said of the company. “Both BlueNalu and SCOA, as well as Sumitomo Corporation, are working to fill the protein supply-demand gap by providing alternative seafood options.”
“Cell-cultured seafood is a supply-chain solution that will have the taste, texture and nutrition that consumers expect, and will not be susceptible to environmental contaminants like mercury and micro plastics,” said Lou Cooperhouse, president and CEO of BlueNalu. “By centering our initial efforts on the high-quality Toro portion of Bluefin tuna, we aim to demonstrate culinary excellence with the most prized portion of the most sought-after fish in the most iconic marketplace for seafood.”
Above, BlueNalu’s whole-muscle, cell-based yellowtail medallions atop a bisque of roasted butternut squash.
Above, Close up of BlueNalu’s whole-muscle, cell-based yellowtail, beer-battered and deep-fried for fish tacos.
Above, BlueNalu’s whole-muscle, cell-based yellowtail prepared in a poke bowl.