Wanda Fish Unveils First Lab-Grown Bluefin Toro Sashimi

Wanda Fish, Ltd. has unveiled its first cultivated bluefin tuna toro sashimi, a significant milestone in the burgeoning field of cell-based seafood. This innovative prototype addresses the increasing demand for bluefin tuna by providing a pollution-free, quality-consistent, and sustainable alternative to the highly sought-after fish. The raw toro specialty, known for its high fat content and rich omega-3 levels, offers a unique buttery sensation, making it the most tender and desired cut of the fish. Wanda Fish’s cell-cultivated sashimi mirrors the sensory features of wild-sourced toro sashimi and boasts comparable nutritional richness, particularly in protein and omega-3 fatty acids.

The Secret Behind the Technology

Wanda Fish’s cell-cultivated adaptation of the 3D filet is a marvel of modern biotechnology. It combines the cellular mass of muscle and fat derived from bluefin tuna cells with a plant-based matrix. The company has enlisted skilled chefs to perfect the sashimi, ensuring it meets culinary standards. The secret to their success lies in their patent-pending technology that induces native fat formation in bluefin tuna cells. This, coupled with a whole-cut downstream manufacturing process, employs a rapid, low-cost, and scalable production method. The fat content not only imparts the velvety texture and rich flavor but also essential nutrients, including omega-3s.

“A key focus in the creation of our product was achieving the same level of fat marbling as real Bluefin toro sashimi to create the same look and mouthfeel,” says Daphna Heffetz, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of Wanda Fish. This milestone demonstrates the company’s ability to bring to market a whole-cut bluefin tuna toro filet without harming the ocean or depleting wild fish populations. The product is sustainable and free of microplastics, mercury, and other chemical toxins commonly found in wild catches.

Implications for Agritech and Investors

The implications of Wanda Fish’s breakthrough are profound for the agritech sector and investors. Bluefin tuna is considered the pinnacle of tuna species, prized for its taste and texture but challenging to raise in captivity. Overfishing and illegal fishing have led to strict fishing quotas, contributing to its premium price. Toro sashimi is a luxury dish, often served in high-end restaurants, and a single 1-kilo serving can cost USD 100 or more. Cultivated bluefin tuna presents a rare opportunity where high demand meets limited alternatives, making it a lucrative venture.

“Cultivated bluefin tuna is one of those rare food products that makes good business sense,” says Yaron Sfadyah, VP of Business Development & Marketing for Wanda Fish. Unlike many alternative protein companies that struggle with high manufacturing costs, Wanda Fish’s scalable platform for producing this premium product has the potential to reach price parity with traditionally raised bluefins. This scalability speeds its journey to the marketplace and maximizes profit margins.

Wanda Fish plans to introduce its tuna in the high-end food service sector, focusing on Japanese cuisine where sushi and sashimi are traditional features. The company’s focus on bluefin tuna as its first product was driven by market needs rather than technology. Since its inception in 2021, Wanda Fish has raised USD 10 million in investment, with a seed round of USD 7.1 million led by AquaSpark and additional investors such as Strauss Group’s The Kitchen Hub, Peregrine Ventures, PICO Venture Partners, MOREVC, and CPT Capital Ventures.

For investors, Wanda Fish represents a cutting-edge opportunity to support a more sustainable future for ocean seafood. The company’s disruptive technologies enable the production of whole-cut cultivated premium fish filets outside of the ocean, addressing environmental concerns and meeting consumer demand for high-quality seafood. With a highly skilled multidisciplinary team and strategic partnerships with leading academic authorities like Tufts University, Wanda Fish is well-positioned to revolutionize the seafood industry.

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