Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S.A.-based start-up Pearlita Foods has developed a prototype of a cell-cultured oyster product it says looks and tastes like a sea-grown oyster.
The product is composed of cell-based technologies combined with a mushroom and seaweed base. The combination ensures an authentic ocean taste and texture, the company said in a release.
Pearlita has plans to create biodegradable oyster shells with the same shucking and removal process as traditional oysters, designed for human consumption.
Pearlita is focused on "developing sustainable and ethical seafood alternatives using cell- and plant-based technologies." The company received funding from Big Idea Ventures and Sustainable Food Ventures to help it create of its cell-based oysters product.
“Not only is North Carolina the second-largest estuarine system in the country, it is also the fastest-growing biotech and future of food hub,” Pearlita Co-Founder Nikita Michelsen said. “We will be close to the ecosystems where oysters thrive and amongst other entrepreneurs – both which we believe will accelerate our growth.”
Pearlita has said it eventually has plans to also develop cell-based squid and scallop products.