Nomad Foods, owner of such brands as Birds Eye, Findus and Iglo, has teamed up with American company BlueNalu to develop fish products based on cell culture in a laboratory.
Demand for fish (products) continues to rise
Europe's largest frozen food group has plans to commercialise lab-grown fish products to help meet the growing demand while safeguarding long-term global fish supplies, Reuters reports.
Nomad Foods and BlueNalu will work together on market research and consumer insights. They will also look at what is needed to gain regulatory approval and explore new opportunities for European markets.
Europe is the world's largest fish importer. According to the European Union's Blue Economy Report, European citizens consume more than three times as much as they produce. "The importance of sustainability has never been more apparent, and the role of technology in delivering these needs is accelerating", CEO Stefan Descheemaeker of Nomad Foods explained.
No genetic modification
In the process developed by BlueNalu, living fish cells are isolated from muscles, fat and connective tissue, after which they can multiply. What is important for the European market is that no genetic modification is used in this process.
BlueNalu is developing several fish products directly from fish cells. The emphasis is on fish species that are typically imported, difficult to farm, overfished or unsustainable, or usually contain higher levels of environmental pollutants.