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Image: BLUU Seafood / FIS

BLUU Seafood opens Europe's first pilot plant for cultivated fish and prepares for market entry

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Friday, April 12, 2024, 07:00 (GMT + 9)

  • Company relocates from Lübeck to Hamburg
  • State-of-the-art cell and molecular biology laboratories, process development space, and test kitchen for food applications on around 2,000 square meters

BLUU Seafood, Europe's leading food biotech company in the production of cultivated fish, today officially opened the doors to the first pilot plant in Europe. By relocating from Lübeck to Hamburg-Altona, the start-up company has left laboratory scale behind and exchanged it for 2,000 square meters of customized research, production, and office space to develop and produce real and tasty fish products – without any animal suffering or environmental damage. The new fermenters, which currently have a capacity of 65 liters with the potential to expand to 2,000 liters, will enable BLUU Seafood to cultivate muscle, fat and connective tissue cells from Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout in much larger quantities than before.

Source: BLUU Seafood

At the optimal temperature, with the necessary oxygen supply and the appropriate nutrients, the animal cells grow and divide in the same way as they do in live fish. The fish products made from the cell mass, such as fish sticks or fish balls, are both GMO-free and free from heavy metals and microplastics often found in wild-caught fish. They are similar to conventional products in terms of taste, nutritional content, and cooking behaviour.

With the new plant and the associated scale-up, BLUU Seafood is taking the next step towards industrial production. Dr Sebastian Rakers, co-founder and co-CEO, explained: "With the facilities at our new site, we are laying the foundations to supply the first markets. In Hamburg, we have the ideal conditions to continue to grow and continuously reduce production costs." At present, the cost of producing cultivated fish is still higher than the average price of wild and farmed fish, but this will gradually change as capacity increases. "If the scalability and market conditions are favorable, we will be able to offer cultivated fish at wholesale fish prices in as little as three years. The new site is an important building block in this development," Rakers said.

BLUU Seafood therefore expects the first approval in Singapore in early 2025, with the US, and the European Union to follow.

Source: BLUU Serafood / PR Newswire 

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