Latest agreement expected to secure food-grade supply chain to support commercialization requirements
BlueNalu, a global developer of cell-cultured seafood, has signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Nutreco, a global leader in animal nutrition and aquafeed. Building on the success of previous collaborations, this agreement represents joint interest in the establishment and scale-up of a food-grade supply chain for cell-cultured seafood manufacturing.
This LOI constitutes the third agreement between the two companies, which originated in December 2019 and coincided with the participation of Nutreco in the Series A round financing of BlueNalu. This next stage of the companies’ partnership marks the beginning of Nutreco’s food-grade supply chain infrastructure development in parallel to BlueNalu’s production phases, from pilot scale development to regulatory stages, and its subsequent commercialization activities. This collaboration includes an initial phase in which BlueNalu and Nutreco will join forces to bring down the costs of cell feed and establish specifications and metrics for certain raw materials necessary to produce BlueNalu’s proprietary cell-cultured seafood products. Importantly, these specifications must be in accordance with food-grade regulatory requirements for nations in which BlueNalu plans to market its products.
“Our vision to create a healthy, secure and sustainable protein solution with cell-cultured seafood, starts by solving several key challenge areas, which include the shift from a pharma-grade to food-grade ingredient supply,” said Lou Cooperhouse, co-founder, president and CEO at BlueNalu. “I’m proud to share that between our team’s innovation and incredible strategic partners, we’ve continued to overcome these hurdles. We are excited to strengthen our partnership with Nutreco as we aim to scale together to bring nutritious seafood products to consumers worldwide.”
“At Nutreco, it is our purpose to feed the growing global population in a safe and sustainable way, and we understand the important role cell-cultured proteins can play in addressing this global challenge,” said Joost Matthijssen, chief strategy officer at Nutreco. “That is why we are pleased to invest further to support BlueNalu’s ongoing development and commercialization efforts and the cell-cultured industry at large.”
This agreement complements BlueNalu’s prior announcement regarding its large-scale commercialization plans, and its business differentiation with whole muscle product forms; a non-GMO, single-cell suspension line; and proprietary lipid-loading technology that allows for continuous production.
“Our team has achieved significant technological feats that have reinforced our pathway and support commercial viability,” said Lauran Madden, PhD, chief technology officer at BlueNalu. “This commitment with Nutreco further enhances our technological readiness and our ability to scale and bring products to the market.”
Susanne Wiegel, PhD, head of alternative protein at Nutreco added: “We look forward to continuing our collaboration with BlueNalu in the years ahead and placing our capabilities as global leader in nutritional solutions at the service of visionary protein producers determined to drive forward the cellular agriculture industry.”
BlueNalu intends to bring a portfolio of seafood products to global markets, and its first commercial product will be the high-value toro portion of bluefin tuna, which is in great demand from the foodservice sector, yet is increasingly inaccessible and associated with considerable sustainability challenges worldwide.