Cell-grown fish may beat lab-meat to the market

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Credit: Food Safety
Credit: Food Safety

Cell-cultured meat may seem like a far-off prospect, a Jetsons-level protein source only available in a grim, distant future. 

But one cellular agriculture startup will soon put cell-grown protein in front of consumers, with plans for a wide-scale release that could revolutionize the seafood industry. That company is Wildtype, a San Francisco startup that cultivates salmon without relying on wild or farmed fish.

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Wildtype is already conducting taste tests. [Co-founder and and chief scientist Aryé] Elfenbein notes that a gaggle of college students recently sampled a poke bowl made with Wildtype salmon, and they were unable to distinguish the cultivated fish from the traditionally harvested fish. “I love watching people eat this product, because… their mind is telling them, ‘Whoa, this is crazy,’” Elfenbein says. “We get to see that idea — that this didn’t actually come from a fish — be disassembled as they recognize those flavors.”

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