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CMFRI launches India’s first cultivated fish meat project in collaboration with Neatt Meat Biotech

January 29, 2024

ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) in Kochi, India, has embarked on an innovative journey to produce cultivated fish meat, a breakthrough in the country’s seafood industry. This project is a response to the escalating demand for seafood and the need to alleviate pressure on wild fish populations.

The cultivated fish meat is synthesized by isolating fish cells and growing them in a lab using animal component-free media. The endeavor is to match the taste, texture, and nutrition of conventional fish. This innovative approach could potentially provide a sustainable solution to meet the rising seafood demand without further straining marine ecosystems.

CMFRI has joined forces with a start-up specializing in cultivated meat technologies, Neat Meatt Biotech, entering into a public-private partnership. The collaboration has been solidified through a Memorandum of Understanding, with CMFRI focusing on cell line development and related genetic and biochemical work, while Neat Meatt will optimize cell growth media and scale up production.

The initial research will concentrate on high-value marine species such as king fish, pomfret, and seer fish. CMFRI Director A Gopalakrishnan emphasizes the significance of this project in keeping India abreast with global advancements in cultured seafood research. He also highlights the potential benefits for environmental sustainability and food security. Neat Meatt’s Co-founder and CEO Sandeep Sharma is optimistic about demonstrating the project’s proof of concept in the near future.

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