Reeling in Seafood Lovers: In A first in India, CMFRI to Develop Lab-grown Fish Meat


According to the MoU, CMFRI will carry out research on early cell line development of high-value marine fish species. This involves isolating and cultivating fish cells for further research and development. Additionally, CMFRI will handle genetic, biochemical, and analytical work related to the project. (Representational Image)

According to the MoU, CMFRI will carry out research on early cell line development of high-value marine fish species. This involves isolating and cultivating fish cells for further research and development. Additionally, CMFRI will handle genetic, biochemical, and analytical work related to the project. (Representational Image)

CMFRI has entered into a collaborative research agreement with Neat Meatt Biotech, a start-up working towards developing cultivated meat, to launch this initiative in a public-private partnership mode. The final product will replicate the original flavour, texture, and nutritional qualities of the fish

ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) has launched a first-of-its-kind pioneering initiative in the country to develop lab-grown fish meat. The landmark project aims to enable India to make strides in the field of cultured marine fish meat, thereby addressing the growing seafood demand and reducing excessive pressure on wild resources.

Cultivated or lab-grown fish meat is produced by isolating specific cells from the fish and growing them in a laboratory setting using animal component-free media. The final product will replicate the original flavour, texture, and nutritional qualities of the fish.

In the initial phase, the institute focuses on developing cell-based meat for high-value marine fishes such as kingfish, pomfret, and seer fish. In line with this, CMFRI has entered into a collaborative research agreement with Neat Meatt Biotech, a start-up working towards developing cultivated meat, to launch this initiative in a public-private partnership mode.

CMFRI director Dr A Gopalakrishnan and co-founder and CEO of Neat Meatt Biotech Dr Sandeep Sharma signed a Memorandum of Understanding regarding this.

According to the MoU, CMFRI will carry out research on early cell line development of high-value marine fish species. This involves isolating and cultivating fish cells for further research and development. Additionally, CMFRI will handle genetic, biochemical, and analytical work related to the project. The institute is equipped with a cell culture laboratory with basic facilities, providing a solid foundation for research in cellular biology.

Neat Meatt, with its expertise in cell culture technology, will lead the optimisation of cell growth media, the development of scaffolds or microcarriers for cell attachment, and scaling up production through bioreactors, according to a press release from CMFRI. They will also provide necessary consumables, manpower, and any additional equipment needed for the project.

“This project aims to accelerate development in this field, ensuring India is not left behind in this emerging industry,” said Dr Gopalakrishnan. “This public-private partnership marks a crucial step in bridging the gap between India and other nations like Singapore, Israel, and the USA, who are already advancing cultured seafood research. Lab-grown fish offers immense potential for environmental and food security benefits, and this collaboration leverages CMFRI’s marine research expertise with Neat Meatt’s technological know-how in this field, paving the way for a sustainable and secure future for seafood production in India.”

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