EXCLUSIVE lab grown fish fingers anyone? Birds Eye owner explores seafood from cell cultures

Band James Davey

LONDON, September 13 (Reuters)Europe’s largest frozen food group and maker of Birds Eye fish sticks has teamed up with US company BlueNalu to develop seafood products grown from cells in the lab rather than harvested from the oceans.

Nomad Foods, which also owns the Findus, Iglo, La Cocinera and Green Cuisine brands, told Reuters on Monday it was aiming to bring cell-cultured seafood to market to help meet growing demand and support efforts. aimed at preserving the long-term sustainability of the world’s fish. shares.

Through this combination, Nomad and BlueNalu will collaborate on market research and consumer insights, assess what is needed to gain regulatory approvals, and explore new business and product opportunities for European markets.

Europe is the world’s largest importer of seafood, with its citizens consuming more than three times as much as they produce, according to the European Union’s Blue Economy Report.

“The importance of sustainability has never been clearer, and the role of technology in meeting these needs is accelerating,” said Nomad Foods CEO Stéfan Descheemaeker.

The process developed by San Diego, Calif.-based BlueNalu sees live fish cells, isolated from a fish’s muscle, fat and connective tissue, fed the nutrition and care they need to thrive. multiply. They are then shaped into seafood portions using practices commonly used in the food industry. There is no genetic modification.

Nomad, which operates and manufactures in 14 markets across Europe, is the world’s largest buyer of sustainably caught wild fish.

He said his deal with BlueNalu represented the first of its kind in Europe between a consumer packaged goods company and a cell-cultured seafood company.

BlueNalu develops a variety of seafood products directly from fish cells.

It focuses on fish species that are typically imported, difficult to farm, overfished or unsustainable, or generally contain higher levels of environmental contaminants.

BlueNalu’s combination with Nomad Foods follows previously announced collaborations with Pulmuone Co Ltd. 017810.KS in South Korea, Sumitomo Corporation 8053.T and Mitsubishi Corporation 8058.T in Japan and the Thai Union TU.BK in Thailand.

BlueNalu’s rivals include Bluu Biosciences, Finless Foods and Wild Type.

(Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Edmund Blair)

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