'Sushi-grade' fish from salmon cells grown in lab by California company

Salmon cells grown 'in a brewery-like system'

Would you eat fish grown in a lab?

A San Francisco-based cellular agriculture startup thinks people will. The company, Wildtype, said on Wednesday that it has created “sushi-grade” cell-based salmon that it intends to sell to restaurants and, eventually, retailers.

Wildtype's salmon is grown from cells, not caught or raised. (Wildtype)

Wildtype's salmon is grown from cells, not caught or raised. (Wildtype)

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Rather than being caught in the wild or raised in a fish farm, Wildtype’s salmon is grown from coho salmon cells in “a brewery-like system,” according to the company.

The sushi-grade salmon can be cooked in various ways or served raw and used in rolls, nigari and sashimi, according to Wildtype.

The company is taking a pre-order waitlist for any chefs interested in cooking with its products.

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Growing fish cells can provide a needed source of sustainable seafood, according to Arye Elfenbein, the chief scientist at Wildtype.

“We’re creating sushi with cells from one of the world’s favorite fish, without needing to take fish from the ocean,” Elfenbein said in a written statement.

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Justin Kolbeck, CEO of Wildtype, said that wild fish stocks are declining despite most consumed salmon being farmed.

A study published in the journal Science last year found that the number of fish that could be safely fished from oceans decreased by 4.1% from 1930 to 2010 as a result of climate change, and the losses were as great as 35% in some regions.

“We believe the 21st century will require new seafood options that are better for us and the planet,” Kolbeck said. “Wildtype’s cell-based salmon sushi is just the beginning.”

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