Startup grows edible salmon sushi in a lab


Chefs can join a pre-order list for the sushi now (Photo: Wild Type)

With ocean fish stocks rapidly dwindling, scientists are working on scaling up ‘lab grown’ alternatives.

California-based startup Wild Type is one such company, which have successfully used their biotechnology to create sushi from fish that never swam.

In a popular tweet, Wild Type revealed a very convincing prototype ‘nigiri’ style piece of sushi, adding that the company ‘grew this salmon ourselves, indoors, in the middle of the city; no fishing or fish farming required.’

Overfishing has devastated global fish stocks, with a third of marine fish being hunted at biologically unsustainable levels, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

But now Wild Type and other lab-grown food startups are working on alternatives to circumvent the oceans entirely.

According to the San Francisco-based startup, chefs have already placed pre-orders for the artificial fish, despite the company being a number of years away from full production.

The company is reportedly focusing on fish specifically for sushi chefs, aiming for the same quality raw fish that chefs would buy in bulk to then put in their sushi rolls.

This makes the process for developing the fish more difficult than just culturing fish cells in a lab, as the artificial fish has to replicate the taste and texture of wild salmon with a complex mixture of muscle tissue and fats.

‘We’re developing the cell lines ourselves, we’re developing the scaffolding and we’re developing the nutrients that we need to grow and we’re developing the cultivators that the cells need to grow in,’ Wild Type chief executive told TechCrunch.

The sushi is reportedly a few years away from mass scale production (Photo: Arye Elfenbein / Wild Type)

Wild Type eventually aims to have the price of artificial salmon lower than conventionally fished salmon, but in the early stages of development and production its likely to be a more expensive option for chefs.

While their product is still in development and not available for public tasting, the company say the flavour profile is ‘a bit milder’ than wild salmon sashimi.

‘The biggest flavor difference right now between our salmon sashimi and conventional salmon sashimi is ours tastes a bit milder,’ the company wrote on Twitter.

‘Perhaps a bit more of a “clean ocean” flavor than a “fishy” flavor. In a word, it’s… yummy.’

Some have also raised questions whether the artificial sushi would be suitable for vegans to eat, as while it’s not from a living animal, it does consist of real animal cells.

One user on Twitter asked: ‘So…is it actually fish or can a vegan eat it.’

Wild Type acknowledged it would be a personal preference whether vegans indulge in the lab-grown fish, but that they had spoken to vegans who were fully for the project and couldn’t wait to try, while others wanted to stick to plants only.

Other startups are also working on their own lab grown fish – Singapore-based Shiok Meats has created lab-grown crustaceans, like shrimp.

It uses a sample of stem cells from a real shrimp to create vast quantities of shrimp meat in large bioreactor chambers similar to brewery tanks.

After a couple of weeks of constant pressure and heat, in a nutrient-rich liquid, the artificial shrimp meat is ready.

The company aims to launch their product later this year, first in Singapore and then branching out globally.


MORE :
Lab-grown chicken nuggets given the green light in Singapore


MORE : From lab-grown meat to robot baristas, how Covid is changing the future of our food





Source link

Share via
Copy link