Aquaculture for all

Wanda Fish unveils its first cell-cultivated bluefin tuna product

Biotechnology Tuna Alternative proteins +3 more

Cell-based seafood maker Wanda Fish has unveiled its first cultivated bluefin tuna toro sashimi.

A piece of cell-based tuna being sliced with a knife.
Wanda Fish's tuna fillet combines lab-grown tuna cells with a plant-based matrix

© Noam Preisman

According to the Israeli startup, the creation of this prototype aims to addresses the burgeoning demand for bluefin tuna via a pollution-free, quality-consistent and sustainable supply of the premium fish.

The raw toro specialty is composed of the underbelly of the fish. It has the highest fat content, with especially high omega-3 levels. According to the company, this gives it a unique buttery sensation, making it the most tender and desired meat of the fish.

Wanda Fish says that its cell-cultivated 3D fillet combines the cellular mass of muscle and fat created from the bluefin tuna’s own cells, developed together with a plant-based matrix. The company enlisted skilled chefs to bring its sashimi to culinary perfection.

Wanda Fish’s patent-pending technology to induce native fat formation in bluefin tuna cells and a whole-cut downstream manufacturing process employs a rapid, low-cost, and readily scalable production method. The fat endows the cultivated fish whole cut with not only its velvety texture but also its unique, rich flavour and essential nutrients, including omega-3s.

“A key focus in the creation of our product was achieving the same level of fat marbling as real Bluefin toro sashimi to create the same look and mouthfeel,” said Dr Daphna Heffetz, co-founder and CEO of Wanda Fish, in a press release. “Reaching this milestone demonstrates Wanda Fish’s ability to bring to market a whole-cut bluefin tuna toro filet without harming the ocean or diminishing the population of wild fish. The product is sustainable, and of course free of microplastics, mercury, and other chemical toxins all-too-commonly found in wild catch.”

“Our prototype is unique in the cultivated food industry, as there is no cooking or panning of the product,” added Malkiel Cohen, VP of R&D for Wanda Fish. “Using multiple bluefin tuna cells to create both muscle and fat and our plant-based 3D design, we capture the essence of a raw fish fillet without preservatives, artificial additives, or GMOs.”

The startup will first introduce its tuna in the high-end food service sector, with a focus on Japanese cuisine, where sushi and sashimi are traditional features. “Our focus on bluefin tuna as our first product was driven by market needs rather than technology driven,” Heffetz concluded.

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