Food tech startup Finless Foods – which creates ‘clean fish’ – has said it wants to match the price of bluefin tuna by 2019.
The company, which describes itself as ‘an early-stage biotechnology company’, wants to recreate fish flesh in a lab, for human consumption, using cell technology.
While the product uses animal cells – and is therefore not vegan – scientists believe it offers a more ethical and sustainable option than commercial fishing.
The company prefers the term ‘clean meat’ to describe its product.
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The company, which was founded by Mike Seldon and Brian Wyrwas, currently has seven employees – but there is potential for growth.
According to Seldon, the pair have just closed one funding round, with series A funding due to start in 2019.
He told foodnavigator-usa.com: “We have a good amount of money to work with…our investors are in this for the long haul.”
The company will invest this cash into developing its flagship bluefin product.
Seldon and Wyrwas chose to replicate this species partly for conservation reasons, with Seldon saying: “Bluefin tuna are sometimes on and off the threatened species list.”
According to Food Navigator there was also a practical reason at play – bluefin tuna is a ‘high value’ fish – meaning the company can create price parity to bring the product to market more quickly than with a cheaper product.”
The product will come to market in stages.
Seldon said: “Initially, quantities will be limited.
“We will be working with chefs in high end restaurants just to spark a conversation and get the public to understand who we are before going into grocery stores and other places.
“Our ultimate goal is to bring the price down so consumers can have a choice of cheap albacore or skipjack tuna, or our high quality bluefin tuna without contaminants, for the same price.”