Katapult Ocean-backed company launches world’s first lab-grown fishball

Singapore-based food tech group Umami Meats has introduced what it claims is the world’s first laksa – a popular spicy noodle dish – made from cell-cultured fish balls.

The launch took place at a private event in Singapore this week.

Fish balls are made from fish paste and then boiled or fried.

The company said it chose to develop laksa fish balls to create a dish that embodies Singapore’s rich food culture.

“When we thought of classic and iconic Singaporean dishes, laksa immediately came to mind.” Umami Meats CEO and Founder Mihir Pershad said.

Fishballs are a blend of cell cultured fish and vegetable proteins that replicate the feel and structure of conventional fishballs.

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The launch builds on Umami Meats’ strategy of developing cell-based substitutes for seafood species that are expected to experience supply issues due to the climate crisis, challenges of overfishing and growing consumer demand.

Singapore is currently the only country in the world to have approved cultured meat for human consumption. Umami Meats worked with regulators at the Food Agency of Singapore to help approve other meats and seafood made using cell technology.

The company has raised approximately $2.7 million (€2.7 million) from investors including Katapult Ocean, Better Bite Ventures and Impact Venture Capital.

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