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  • Writer's picturePhoebe Fraser

Umami Bioworks collaborates with Japan’s largest fishing company Maruha Nichiro

Cell-based seafood company Umami Bioworks has partnered with “Japan’s largest” fishing company, Maruha Nichiro, marking the first time a Japanese seafood company has chosen to invest in a foreign cell-based seafood company.

Maruha Nichiro says it has stepped up to ensure a sustainable supply of seafood worldwide, making its first formal investment in cellular agriculture with the aim of laying the foundation for Japan’s cell-based seafood industry.

Together, Umami Bioworks and Maruha Nichiro will work to build the infrastructure of Japan’s cell-based seafood industry. The strategic investment from Maruha Nichiro is set to help accelerate Umami’s development progress.

The two companies will also carry out a multi-faceted collaboration to accelerate the path to cell-based seafood commercialisation, particularly in novel endangered, threatened and protected species that have global relevance.

With the investment, Umami Bioworks will be able to carry out its long-term plan of building a research and commercial team in Japan. In turn, Maruha Nichiro will have a third method of sustainable production, other than fishing and aquaculture, for increasingly scarce seafood species.

A spokesperson from Maruha Nichiro said: “As a means to address the anticipated protein supply shortage in the future, Maruha Nichiro highly values Umami Bioworks as a business partner as it is focused on establishing the production technology for cell-cultivated seafood products, while sharing our vision to accelerate the commercialisation of cellular agriculture.”

Mihir Pershad, CEO of Umami Bioworks, commented: “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. 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.”

He added: “Through collaborations with industry leaders like Maruha Nichiro, we can leverage our technology expertise to support the co-development of delicious, nutritious, and appealing consumer products that secure a healthier and more sustainable food future for the world.”


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