May 24, 2023

This Real Fish Fillet Was 3D Printed From Cells Grown in a Lab

Posted by in category: bioprinting

Cultured meat is gaining momentum, with large production facilities under construction and the arduous approval process for the finished products inching forward. Most of the industry’s focus thus far has been on ground beef, chicken, pork, and steak. Save for one startup that was working on lab-grown salmon, fish have been largely left out of the fray.

But last month an Israeli company called Steakholder Foods announced it had 3D printed a ready-to-cook fish fillet using cells grown in a bioreactor. The company says the fish is the first of its kind in the world, and they’re aiming to commercialize the 3D bioprinter used to create it.

Steakholder Foods didn’t produce the fish cells it used to print the fillet. They partnered with Umami Meats, a Singapore-based company working on cultured seafood. Umami created the fish cells the same way companies like Believer Meats and Good Meat create lab-grown chicken or beef: they extract cells from a fish (in a process that doesn’t harm it) and mix those cells with a cocktail of nutrients to make them divide, multiply, and mature. They signal the cells to turn into muscle and fat, which they then harvest and form into a finished product.

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