Cultivated seafood start-up E-Fishient Protein claims product “will be better than the original”

Published on
August 2, 2022

Petah Tikva, Israel-based E-fishient Protein, a collaboration of BioMeat FoodTech and the Volcani Institute, is working to develop raw cell-based materials for fish cutlets, fingers, balls, and fillets.

BioMeat is the controlling partner in the new start-up, with a 76 percent share of E-Fishient, and will be responsible for management of the company’s development and operational funding. The Volcani Institute has a heavy focus on agricultural research and has a 10 share of E-fishient's capital. E-Fishient will utilize the Volcani Institute’s facilities, and its and development team.

The company plans to initially focus on tilapia, citing its status as one of the most-consumed finfish in the world. 

“Tilapia comprises over 10.3 percent of total finfish production, more than double that of salmon, which accounts for ‘only’ 4.5 percent of the market," E-Fishient CEO Dana Levin told Food Navigator.

Consumption of tilapia is expected to increas faster than any other seafood species in the next decade, according to the OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2021-2030.

“It is very popular with consumers owing to its flavor, texture, and nutritional value. It is the fifth-most consumed fish in the U.S., widely consumed all over China, and is forecast it increase its market share in developing and developed countries alike,” Levin said.

E-Fishient said it plans to create a cell-based tilapia alternative with a similar flavor, texture, and nutritional value without pesticides, antibiotics, or ecological damage caused from fish farming.

“Not only is Nile tilapia an excellent choice for the processed-fish industry, it also serves as a great product for plant-based fish companies, which struggle to simulate the flavor of fish," it said.

The team added it plans to develop processes to cultivate the fish product using non-animal serum. Cell-based foods are often made using fetal bovine serum, which is both a sustainability concern and a potential bottleneck for the growing industry

The company told Food Navigator its initial focus will be the Asia-Pacific market, since it is the region with the highest consumption of tilapia. Later, as the industry is developed, it plans to focus on European and North American markets. 

Want seafood news sent to your inbox?

You may unsubscribe from our mailing list at any time. Diversified Communications | 121 Free Street, Portland, ME 04101 | +1 207-842-5500