Maruha Nichiro invests in Umami Bioworks to develop cell-based seafood products
Maruha Nichiro, a Japanese seafood company, has invested in Umami Bioworks, as it aims to develop cell-based seafood.
Founded in 2020 as Umami Meats, Umami Bioworks brings together "novel stem cell biology, machine learning and automation" to create the operating system for cell-based seafood production.
Together, the companies will create cell-based alternatives to seafood. This focus will be particularly directed towards novel ETP species, which are classified as "endangered, threatened and protected".
Through the investment, Umami will be able to accelerate its long-term plan of building a research and commercial team in Japan. In turn, Maruha Nichiro will gain an additional avenue for sustainable production – distinct from fishing and aquaculture – to address the growing scarcity of seafood species.
Mihir Pershad, CEO of Umami Bioworks, said: “Our seminal partnership with Maruha Nichiro, a global leader in crafting beloved food products, is a pivotal step in achieving our mission of addressing the challenge of feeding a growing global population while minimising environmental impact".
Pershad continued: "We have the development and production technology, but we require experienced partners with global reach that can help us manufacture and deliver cultivated products to consumers".
"Through collaborations with industry leaders like Maruha Nichiro, we can leverage our technology expertise to support co-development of delicious, nutritious, and appealing consumer products that secure a healthier and more sustainable food future for the world.”
Through the creation of a production pipeline for cell-based products tailored to the Japanese market, the two companies will develop a foundation for cell-based products in Japan. This initiative will provide the market "with a sustainable and stable supply of locally produced seafood," said Maruha Nichiro.
Terms of the investment have not been disclosed.