Israeli food tech start-up Wanda Fish Technologies has entered into a new partnership with Tufts University in Massachusetts, USA. The collaboration aims to accelerate the production of cell-cultured fish following breakthrough developments in fish cell culture at the renowned research university.
“Marine biodiversity is essential to the survival of people and our planet. Overfishing, along with water pollution, is damaging the vast and vital ocean ecosystem”
Two agreements have been signed between Wanda Fish and Tufts; the first being a licensing agreement granting Wanda Fish exclusive rights to certain intellectual properties in fish cell culture developed by Tufts researcher David Kaplan PhD, a leader in the field of cellular agriculture. In addition, a two-year sponsored research agreement has been concluded, supporting Kaplan’s research into fish tissue production based on cell agriculture.
Kaplan is also a leading academic authority on cultured meat, having recently received a $10 million grant from the United States Department of Agriculture to establish the first national center in the United States dedicated to research in cellular agriculture. Using R&D facilities in the United States and Israel, Wanda Fish is establishing a proprietary non-GMO platform for the production of cell-based fish from a variety of species.
“We start with a single, unique sample of real native fish muscle and fat tissue,” Kaplan explains. “We then continue to replicate the biological growth of the fish, with nutritional attributes including protein and omega 3 content, as well as taste and textural properties. The results are clean, safe fish free of microplastics, mercury, or other chemical toxicities commonly found in some wild catches.
Farmed fish fillets
As overfishing, pollution and the destruction of marine ecosystems continue to jeopardize the environment and the food system, Wanda Fish hopes the new partnership will propel its strategies for producing cultured and sustainable fish fillets. Formed last year with financial and technical support from the Israel Innovation Authority, Wanda Fish has already secured $3 million in pre-seed funding as it seeks to save the future of the oceans through to food technology.
“More than three billion people depend on the ocean and its surroundings for their lives,” said Dr. Daphna Heffetz, CEO of Wanda Fish. “Marine biodiversity is essential to the survival of people and our planet. Overfishing, along with water pollution, damages the vast and vital ocean ecosystem. Many wild fish populations are unfortunately in decline.