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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    Singapore Wants to Sell the World on Cell-Cultured Seafood

    The only country in the world that permits the commercial sale of cell-based protein is leading a global charge to get consumers on board.

    By Coco Liu (Bloomberg)

    November 17, 2022

    On Nov. 14 in Sharm El-Sheikh, representatives from nine countries sat down to dinner. It was the start of the second week of COP27, but this was no panel discussion or debate over loss and damage. The dinner, hosted by the government of Singapore alongside alternative-protein advocates, was instead a celebration of the main dish: cultivated chicken, or meat grown from animal cells in a bioreactor.
    At the moment, Singapore is the only place in the world that permits the commercial sale of cultivated protein, also known as lab-grown meat, cultured meat or cell-based meat.

    But chicken isn’t its only focus. As climate change threatens global marine ecosystems, the city-state is also leading a charge to allow, regulate, and ultimately normalize the commercial sale of cultivated seafood. Singapore’s enthusiasm, driven by the local diet and its own reliance on food imports, is matched by that of dozens of startups around the world, all of which are exploring ways to grow cell-based oysters, lobsters, and other marine species in laboratory settings — and figuring out how to get consumers interested in eating them.

    The science behind cell-based meat isn’t new — cell cultures were first used in medical research in 1907 — but it has yet to see much application for fish. Seafood is, however, a ripe space for innovation. Humans eat more than twice as much of it today as they did in 1960: Fish consumption has been rising at almost double the rate of population growth. And seafood transportation often requires long-haul airlifting, resulting in copious greenhouse-gas emissions.

    A lobster roll made from cultivated protein.
    Photo via Shiok Meats

    The fishing industry is also among the most vulnerable to a changing climate, as ocean acidification compromises marine habitats and warmer seawater shifts the distribution pattern of fish stocks. Less than two thirds of those stocks are now within biologically sustainable levels, down from 90% in 1974, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization.

    The decline in wild catches cannot be easily offset by aquaculture either, which has itself fallen victim to climate change-driven extreme weather. In July, a tropical cyclone in southern China wreaked havoc on fish farms equal in size to 22,900 football fields.

    Mirte Gosker, managing director of Singapore-based nonprofit Good Food Institute Asia Pacific, says threats to the seafood supply present an obvious moment for cultivated protein. “It’s simply a smarter way to make meat,” she says. “Asian markets play a central role in this shift. Of the top 10 countries that eat the most fish, seven of them are in Asia, creating an ocean of opportunity for alternative seafood producers.”

    Is Cell-Based Fish the Future of Seafood?

    Investors also have eyes on that opportunity: Funding for cultivated seafood companies hit $115 million in 2021, according to GFI Asia Pacific. While that’s still small potatoes compared with the $1.3 billion that went into cell-based meat overall last year, it’s double the level of funding cultivated seafood received in 2020. The sector’s startups include Singapore-based Shiok Meats (shrimp and lobster), Germany’s Bluu Seafood (salmon, trout and carp) and BluNalu in the US (tuna). Then there’s Avant Meats, a Hong Kong startup that’s spent five years perfecting the cultivated version of a sea delicacy few in the West have heard of.

    A dinner at COP27 featuring cell-cultured chicken.
    Jade Madoe/Good Meat

    At Avant’s windowless lab in Hong Kong Science Park, five scientists execute daily duties that include feeding fish cells with a culture medium containing more than 50 nutrients, counting the number of fish cells grown on different “scaffoldings” to identify the best holding structure, and cooking and sampling cell-based products in the lab’s built-in kitchen. Seafood culture is so prevalent in Hong Kong that locals named a street after it — Hoi Mei, which means “the flavor of the sea” in Cantonese — and Avant is working on a cell-cultured version of a premium ingredient in Asian cuisine.

    Known as the “treasure of the sea,” fish maw — the swim bladder of a fish — is often served in soup during weddings and other special occasions. The light, white and spongy treat is prized for its medical benefits, and can cost tens of thousands of dollars per kilogram. But because fish maw is usually harvested from larger fish, Asia’s appetite for it has also exacerbated the overfishing of certain species.

    Avant’s lab in Hong Kong Science Park.
    Dayu Zhang/Bloomberg

    To make cultivated fish maw, cells taken from croakers are placed in plastic tubes and stored in a bioreactor connected to an oxygen tank. Within weeks, those cells multiply into tissues the size of a grain of rice, at which point they’ll be ready for assembly into larger pieces. Fish maws are well suited to this part of the process — that “scaffolding” needed to recreate meat’s texture and shape is harder with complex types of tissue, like muscle and fat — but it still isn’t easy. Avant’s first fish maw prototype was texturally solid, says Co-Founder Mario Chin, but it didn’t taste right.

    Cracking the science on cultivated seafood, however, is only half the battle. Singapore has pledged to produce 30% of its food locally by 2030 (versus less than 10% now), which makes cell-based meat an appealing option. But no other country allows the commercial sale of cultivated protein yet, although some are getting closer. The Netherlands this year legalized the sampling of cultivated protein, and China’s new agricultural plan for the first time includes growing meat from animal cells as one of its prioritized technologies.
    Listen to author and campaigner George Monbiot on why making lab-grown food solves huge environmental problems.

    In the US, the Food and Drug Administration this week issued a very preliminary green light for lab-grown meat for human consumption, although a regulatory framework is still needed and any meat outside of seafood will also require the approval of the Department of Agriculture. For now, though, the limited market for these products means startups making them don’t have any path to economies of scale. The emissions toll of mass cultivated fish also remains unclear, as the more bioreactors are deployed to grow fish from cells, the more electricity they consume.

    Avant’s cell-grown fish maw, served in soup.

    Then there’s the consumer challenge. Cultured meat’s cheerleaders need only look at plant-based meat to see how difficult it is to shift eating behavior. After years of development, some plant-based meat offerings taste almost identical to their animal counterparts, and claim similar nutritional content and far fewer emissions. But prices aren’t yet competitive, and consumers aren’t yet sold: Plant-based meat was estimated to have less than a 1% global market share last year, according to GFI Asia Pacific.

    Avant, for its part, is optimistic about these hurdles — even though its own fish filets won’t be cost-competitive for at least three years. The company is now planning its first factory, and has raised nearly $15 million from institutional investors that include Singapore’s S2G Ventures and Hong Kong-based tech incubator ParticleX. Co-Founder Carrie Chan says Avant has also started applying for regulatory approval in Singapore for its fish maw. Once that happens, a cell-cultured “treasure of the sea” could hit restaurant tables within two years.

    Majestically enthroned amid the vulgar herd

  2. #2
    david44's Avatar
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    If the safety, taste and price are similar I imagine it will go viral .
    I expect there will be a premium on trad to start.
    There will also be the prospect of making every single battery farm,fisherman,ockman, knocker and abbatoir redundant so big resistance

  3. #3

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    03-12-2022 @ 03:48 PM
    Successful Prototypes of Lab-Grown Fillets of Meat

    Tue, 15th Nov 2022 07:00
    RNS Number : 3737G
    BSF Enterprise PLC
    15 November 2022

    15 November 2022
    BSF Enterprise PLC("BSF" or the "Company")

    Successful Prototypes of Lab-Grown Fillets of Meat
    Ground-breaking Prototypes Exceed Expectations

    BSF Enterprise plc, an investment company focused on unlocking the next generation of biotech solutions, announces that its wholly owned subsidiary, 3D Bio-Tissues, has reached another milestone in successfully producing three small prototype fillets of cultivated meat. This is a major step forward toward 3D Bio-Tissues' objective of producing the UK's first full-scale cultivated meat fillet, which it expects to showcase in the coming months.

    3D Bio-Tissues (3DBT) produced three small meat fillets of approximately 30 mm in height and 15 mm in diameter, with an average weight of 5 grammes, utilising innovative proprietary methods. It then tested the prototypes across a variety of attributes to ascertain their quality and similarity to conventional meat, with comprehensively positive results.

    In their raw state the lab-grown fillets exhibited structural integrity and resistance to breaking when being manipulated and compressed. The fillets resembled conventional farm grown meat to touch with similar consistency and elasticity and no obvious aroma.

    Two of the fillets were then pan fried, cooking rapidly and throughout while maintaining integrity and shape and exhibiting only minimal shrinkage, as would be expected during the preparation of high-quality farm grown meat. The fillets seared easily, showed heavy caramelisation with charring and crisping on the surface, and the aromas were identical to those of barbecued meat. In summary, the test results met, and in many areas exceeded, our expectations in all respects.

    A further significant development was that the prototype fillets were all produced without the use of conventional plant-based scaffolds or fillers, as have been universally adapted by the industry to date in order to ensure structural integrity. The fillets were therefore 100% meat, leading the Company to believe this is one of the world's first 100% cultivated meat fillets to be produced.

    This was made possible as the fillets were cultured in 3DBT's patented, serum-free and animal-free cell booster, City-mixTM. City-mixTM enhances growth of cells and tissues to the point that the need for a scaffold is eliminated. City-mixTM is a critical intellectual property component of the Company's offering, providing clear competitive differentiation and world leading technology.

    As previously announced, the Company expects to produce a larger scale prototype in six to eight weeks and is on track to produce its showcase full-scale fillet of 100% meat in early in 2023.

    Che Connon, Chief Executive of 3DBT, said: "We are extremely pleased with the results of our first prototype which has exceeded our expectations in terms of integrity, aroma, texture and more. We believe our prototypes to be some of the first fillets of cultivated meat in the world, representing a ground-breaking development for the industry.

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat
    Takeovers's Avatar
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    Today @ 02:17 PM
    Berlin Germany
    Quote Originally Posted by tomcat View Post
    Singapore Wants to Sell the World on Cell-Cultured Seafood.

    The only country in the world that permits the commercial sale of cell-based protein is leading a global charge to get consumers on board.
    Interesting. But I do know that a company in Europe has the EU OK for selling bacteria fed with methane based protein is at least approved as animal feed.

    I am not sure what cell based protein means. Is it similar to bacterial protein or is it from growing actual fish or shrimp derived cells? Producing protein from bacteria with methane or hydrogen as feed stock is a well known process. I recall there are processes that provide the needed energy directly as an electric current.

    Almost more interesting IMO is that at a Singapore university lab they have managed to produce starch in vats, using catalytic reactions. The process as such was known but they managed to fix the catalyst in a way that supports larger scale production.

    You may not be surprised, that I am interested in these developments because of feeding people on Mars may utilize such methods. I can't see mass production of food with conventional farming methods.
    "don't attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by incompetence"

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