Forsea unveils first cultured eel

Published: 22-Jan-2024

FoodTech start-up collaborates with SAIDO restaurant to craft prized Japanese dishes based on cultivated eel

Cell-cultured seafood start-up Forsea Foods sails on its mission to save wild eel populations from near extinction by unveiling its first prototype of cell-cultivated freshwater eel.

Forsea successfully replicated the traditional Japanese unagi eel (Anguilla japonica) featuring the same tender, succulent texture and rich savoury flavour as real eel.

The visionary start-up has been working together with the celebrated executive chef Katsumi Kusumoto to create two popular traditional Japanese dishes – unagi kabayaki (marinated grilled eel over rice) and unagi nigiri. 

The company has achieved a working proof-of-concept that embodies the sensory attributes of real eel meat and is now prepped for scale-up.

In the collaboration, Forsea contributes its novel technology for cell-cultivating eel cuts, while Kusumoto contributes his culinary mastery to refine the product to perfection in texture and flavour. 

“Unagi is an enduring favourite in Japan,” informs Kusumoto. “Its timeless appeal, however, is impacted by a growing awareness among the Japanese population of the need to take a more sustainable approach. It’s been a thrilling journey to join forces with emerging innovators and working together to deliver the traditional unagi indulgence with a clear eco-conscience.”

“This milestone marks a major leap in our journey to deliver delicious cultured seafood products,” claims Roee Nir, CEO and cofounder of Forsea.

“Forsea is pioneering the fusion of traditional, high-quality Asian cuisine with groundbreaking technology to create the world’s first cultured unagi—one that will provide the consumer with a genuine seafood experience without putting further strain on aquatic life.”

Beyond its contribution to ocean conservation, Forsea’s cell-cultivated eel offers a nutritious alternative that is free from any antibiotics, hormones or ocean pollutants.

Forsea projects that its inaugural product will be ready for commercial launch in 2025 as it seeks strategic partners in Japan (the largest consumer of freshwater eel) and across Asia. EU and the US also are also on its radar as rapidly developing markets.


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