Project „Clean Fish – Alternative Food from Cell Culture“

Through the use of high-tech products, knowledge and innovation, Kaesler Nutrition is fully committed every day to developing more efficient and sustainable agriculture.

To this end, Kaesler Nutrition is laying the foundation for the entry into cellular agriculture with the “Clean Fish” project. The two-year research project for the development of media components for the production of in-vitro fish meat started on October 01, 2021 in cooperation with the Thünen Institute of Fisheries Ecology. The project is funded within the PFAU program (Program for the Promotion of Applied Environmental Technologies) by Bremerhavener Gesellschaft für Investitionsförderung und Stadtentwicklung mbH (Economic Development Company Bremerhaven BIS).

Cellular agriculture is a relatively young and promising technology. The aim is to grow food such as fish or meat directly from cells (in vitro fish / in vitro meat). In this process, meat, just like yogurt or yeast, is produced in a fermenter: Stem cells are obtained through a biopsy on fish. These are grown in complex nutrient solutions and developed in a controlled process, first into muscle tissue cells and finally into fish meat. A major challenge here is the complex nutrient solution, which is essential for the survival and healthy growth of the cells: in addition to vitamins, salts, amino acids, peptides, carbohydrates, fats and trace elements, growth factors are also included. The latter in particular must be produced as cheaply and sustainably as possible. This is exactly where Kaesler Nutrition comes in with the development and optimization of the components for the nutrient solutions for fish cells. At the research site in Bremerhaven, a cell culture methodology for fish cells is being established to drive the development of a sustainable nutrient solution.

The project thus aims to find an alternative to industrial fishing and aquaculture in order to protect marine biodiversity, counteract overfishing of the oceans and reduce CO2 emissions. In addition, this method can save up to 90% of raw materials, just like vertical farming, the cultivation of plants on culture medium.

As a cooperation partner, the Thünen Institute for Fisheries Ecology will carry out pollutant and nutrient analyses with the developed products and compare them with samples of fish caught in the wild. The aim of the studies is to generally increase consumer acceptance of in vitro fish.

This project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the Union's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.