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Nutreco invests in "cellular aquaculture" start-up

20 January 2020, at 10:38am

Nutreco has announced plans to form a strategic partnership with San Diego cell-based seafood start-up BlueNalu.

BlueNalu aims to produce popular seafood species that are "over-fished, primarily imported, or difficult to farm-raise", in a process that they describe as "cellular aquaculture". They have already managed to create "fillets" of yellowtail amberjack using cells from this species.

The team at BlueNalu
The team at BlueNalu

This announcement comes only a week after an announcement about Nutreco’s collaboration with cell-based meat start-up Mosa Meat. According to the Dutch firm: “These partnerships amplify Nutreco’s commitment to feeding the future with science-based innovations that advance sustainability across the value chain.”

Nutreco stresses that the food and feed industry must meet a growing demand for high quality protein. This demand is driven by a growing population – estimated to rise to almost 10 billion by 2050 - but also by more affluent consumers demanding more diversified diets – including protein.

The company notes that the Earth has a finite amount of environmental resources – it is estimated that we use over 1.5 times the resources that the world has to offer – driving demand for sustainable solutions. Furthermore, industry players must respond to environmental factors and societal factors, such as climate change as well as regulatory policies that impact food production.

Nutreco CEO, Rob Koremans says: “Our strategic partnerships are all designed to ensure Nutreco plays its part in ensuring there is enough sustainable food to feed the growing population. Mosa Meat and BlueNalu are developing very exciting technology that could potentially transform the way in which our industry feeds the future and we are thrilled to contribute to these developments. A future opportunity for Nutreco may include becoming an ingredient supplier to the cell-based protein industry.”

Lou Cooperhouse, CEO of BlueNalu says, “We are excited to partner with Nutreco to bring a third option to the seafood supply chain, complementing wild-caught seafood and traditional aquaculture in a way that is healthy for people and sustainable for the planet.”

“While these new strategic partnerships allow Nutreco to serve as an advisor in the development of alternative protein for food, our core business will continue to focus on supplying sustainable, high quality nutritional solutions to our customers in the feed space. We remain fully committed to providing farmers with digitally-enabled and farm-focused solutions to support them in raising their animals in an effective and sustainable manner,” Koremans added:

The partnerships with BlueNalu and Mosa Meat are made through Nutreco’s strategic innovation and investment team, NuFrontiers, and build on the research, ingredient sourcing and protein expertise of Nutreco companies Skretting and Trouw Nutrition.