Umami Meats Partners With Japan’s NUProtein to Bring Down Cost of Cultivated Seafood
NUProtein will provide Umami Meats with growth factors at 1/3000th of the cost of those currently available on the market.
About us: Market Shake is curated by GourmetPro. We help F&B brands and companies expand globally by providing bespoke matching to our exclusive network of local consultants. Explore our services.
Singapore-based startup Umami Meats has partnered with Japan’s NUProtein to reduce the cost of cultivating seafood.
The two companies met in Tokyo yesterday, January 25th, to formalize their partnership in front of stakeholders, including the media, government, and investors. The Market Shake team attended the signing to give you the inside scoop on developments in the APAC-cultivated protein space.
The Scoop On Umami Meats & NUProtein’s Partnership
NUProtein will provide Umami Meats with its growth factor production system, which can be used to make the proteins required to cultivate seafood at a fraction of the cost of what’s currently available on the market. The commercial price of proteins used to feed cell growth is usually around 25,000 JPY (US 200 dollars) per microgram. According to CEO Minami Masataka, NUProtein’s products cost 1/3000th of the price, so roughly 10 JPY (USD 8 cents) per microgram.
Umami Meats will use NUProtein’s technology to help cultivate Japanese eel meat at a reduced cost. Umami Meats focuses on cultivating seafood species that are in high demand but listed as endangered on the IUCN Redlist, such as unagi (Japanese eel) and red snapper. According to CEO Mihir Pershad, these species are sold at higher price points so Umami Meats will be able to reach price parity with their cultivated products sooner.
During the event, Umami Meats reaffirmed its commitment to Japan as a key market for cultivated seafood:
We believe that building premium seafood products starting in Japan and developing products that meet the quality standards and consumer expectations here is a signal to the world that the products are the best available.
Mihir Pershad, co-founder and CEO of Umami Meats
Umami Meats is seeking to develop a full value chain of partners in Japan to help bring their cultivated seafood to consumers at scale. NUProtein is one of the first to strike a formal agreement, and Umami Meats is also in talks with several major collaborators in Japan, including manufacturing giant Asahi Kasei, sushi chain Sushiro, and trading companies like Itochu.
Share this story with your network:
In addition to Japan, Umami Meats has formed several global partnerships in recent months to help accelerate the development of its products. In 2022 they partnered with US food ingredient company Ingredion to launch a prototype battered snapper fillet. They are also working with Israeli startup Steakholder Foods which will help them develop the 3D-printed structure of fat and muscle cells for eel and grouper products.
The Timeline to Commercial Release
We asked CEO Mihir Pershad about the timeline for the commercial launch of cultivated Umami Meat’s cultivated seafood.
Our goal is to have the first product for consumers in a restaurant in Singapore by the end of next year. Our timeline for Japan is less clear because regulators have not approved any products here yet. In general, going from restaurant to retail will take more time because minimum volumes required are much higher.
Mihir Pershad, co-founder and CEO of Umami Meats
🚀 Become a premium member today: Market Shake gives you all the insights about emerging global trends in the F&B industry that you need to support your business decisions. All in an email you can read in less than 10 minutes per week.
A subscription to Market Shake premium gets you:
Full access to Market Shake’s weekly posts
Access to exclusive “Executive Summary” reports summarizing each Market Shake series (launching soon)
Early access to exclusive F&B industry events organized by GourmetPro
As a premium reader, you can be sure you stay ahead of the competition, and clients.
📈 Corporate Membership Offer: Get all the benefits of premium for your entire organization.
The Race Is On to Save Our Seas
Umami Meats aims to provide a sustainable supply of seafood to meet the world’s growing demand, which increasingly cannot be met by supply from our oceans and aquaculture alone. According to Umami Meats, the latter method, which involves farming fish in water, can only be used to produce seven to eight species of seafood. There are many more in-demand species that currently cannot be produced by any existing method. In addition to being able to produce these seafood varieties, Umami Meat’s cultivated fish will also be free from plastic and heavy metal pollution which is a problem for our current seafood supply.
Tell us what you think about today’s post
Today’s post is a little different from our normal style of content so we’d like to know what you think! Do you want more reporting-style content like this? Or do you prefer our traditional in-depth reports of trends in F&B? Let us know below.
See you next Tuesday
We’ll be back next Tuesday to share more insights about F&B innovation in APAC.
Made with ❤️ by GourmetPro - your network of Food & Beverage experts, on demand.
💌 If you have any questions, you can directly answer this email. We read and answer all messages.
💖 And if you think someone you know might be interested in this edition of Market Shake, feel free to simply forward this email or click the button below. 💖
On your piece about IntregriCulture you say: "To date, growth factors like FBS have been the most important ingredient in the media to trigger cell growth. They have also been the most expensive and ethically questionable - FBS is extracted from the carcasses of animals."
FBS does is not extracted from animal carcasses. FBS is a serum made with the blood of bovine feti harvested after the slaughter of dairy and meat cows. Each fetus, still ialive in the placenta, is taken to a special room in the slaughter house where, through a puncture in the heart, the blood is drawn out in a close circuit to avoid contamination.