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Company 3D Prints the World’s First Cultivated Fish Fillet

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From laboratory cultivation to the dining table, this fillet, cultivated from fish cells, provides a sustainable and more humane alternative to industrial fishing practices.

Company 3D Prints the World's First Cultivated Fish Fillet
Credit: Shlomi Arbiv

As the food industry strives to address the challenge of feeding a rapidly expanding global population with sustainable options, the alternative protein sector is introducing a range of innovations. This includes 3D-printed fillet steaks and McDonald’s plant-based McPlant burgers.

Presently, an inventive food technology startup has revealed what is believed to be the planet’s inaugural cultivated fish fillet. This is produced without any harm to fish.

The flaky, boneless fillet closely resembles, both in appearance and taste, its real counterpart. It is the result of an advanced 3D printing technique.

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Company 3D Prints the World's First Cultivated Fish Fillet
Credit: Shlomi Arbiv

Steakholder Foods, an Israeli tech food company, developed this fillet by extracting fish cells from a grouper. Then cultivating them into muscle and fat, and transforming them into a ‘bio ink,’ which is loaded into a 3D printer responsible for printing the cultured grouper.

The grouper fish product replicates the flaky texture of cooked fish and is ready for cooking immediately after being printed.

Revealed during a tasting event hosted by Steakholder Foods, the cultivated fish fillet represents a significant milestone in the company’s mission to introduce cultivated seafood to a wider audience. Details about the launch of this cultivated fish in the market are expected to be announced in the upcoming months.

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Company 3D Prints the World's First Cultivated Fish Fillet
Credit: Shlomi Arbiv

Fishing is Unsustainable

Earlier this year, a significant report unveiled a startling trend in fish farming. It has more than doubled over the past twelve years. In 2019, the global fish farming industry saw the slaughter of 124 billion farmed fish. This represents a substantial increase from the 61 billion recorded in 2007.

To put this in perspective, commercial fishing currently covers approximately 55 percent of the world’s oceans. This results in the annual slaughter of an estimated 2.7 trillion wild fish. Unfortunately, this industry is not only responsible for the unsustainable harvesting of marine life but also contributes to ocean pollution. Furthermore, it endangers delicate ecosystems and disrupts the habitats of aquatic species.

When we combine the staggering figures from both fish farming and the fishing industry, the result is the annual slaughter of over 2.82 trillion fish. It’s important to note that this total does not even account for the additional 38 million tonnes of sea creatures unintentionally caught as bycatch each year. This data highlights the urgent need for sustainable practices. As well as conservation efforts to mitigate the impact on our oceans and marine life.

Cultivated Meat?

Cultivated meat, also known as lab-grown meat, cell-based meat, or synthetic meat, is a revolutionary approach to meat production. It doesn’t involve traditional animal farming. Instead, it’s created by cultivating animal cells in a controlled environment. Such as a bioreactor, to grow muscle tissue that can be harvested and processed into meat products.

The process typically begins by taking a small sample of animal cells, often from a biopsy or feather follicle, without harming the animal. They culture these cells and provide them with the necessary nutrients. This includes sugars, amino acids, and minerals, to encourage their growth. Over time, these cells multiply and form muscle tissue. They then harvest, season, and process it into various meat products like burgers, sausages, or nuggets.

Cultivated meat offers several potential advantages over traditional livestock farming. It has the potential to be more environmentally sustainable. This is because it can require fewer resources like land, water, and feed, and produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions. It also has the potential to address animal welfare concerns. They do this by eliminating the need to raise and slaughter animals for meat.

Additionally, cultivated meat has the potential to reduce foodborne illnesses associated with conventional meat production. Furthermore, it could provide a more controlled and consistent product in terms of taste, texture, and safety.

Bottom Line

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In conclusion, as the global food industry continues its quest to provide sustainable solutions for a growing population, the alternative protein sector stands at the forefront of innovation. From 3D-printed fillet steaks to McDonald’s plant-based McPlant burgers, these advancements signal a transformative shift in how we approach food production.

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