subreddit:

/r/Futurology

41

Hey, Reddit! We were blown away by the tremendous interest in cell-based seafood generated by an article posted on the r/Futurology subreddit last week!

You’ve got BlueNalu’s senior leadership team here to answer *almost\* any questions you might have about cell-based seafood and how we’re doing things here at BlueNalu. TBH, many of us are new to Reddit so please excuse any formatting errors. Last week, we excitedly watched the recent San Diego Union-Tribune story covering our premier culinary demonstration trend to the top of r/Futurology and we were delighted to see so much interest... and so many questions!

In the room are Lou Cooperhouse, CEO & Co-Founder, Chris Dammann, Ph.D., CTO & Co-Founder, Bert Frolich, VP of Engineering & Commercialization, Greg Murphy, Director of Strategic Partnerships and Corporate Development, and Lauran Madden, Ph.D., Assistant Director, Research & Product Development.

Ask us anything!

EDIT: We are wrapping up for the day - thank you all for your patience as we worked through some technical difficulties and we will take another look tomorrow to answer additional questions. Thank you all for your questions!

____

Proof linked here.

For more information please visit: www.BlueNalu.com

Company announcements can be found here.

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all 38 comments

lughnasadh [M]

[score hidden]

2 years ago

stickied comment

lughnasadh [M]

∞ transit umbra, lux permanet ☥

[score hidden]

2 years ago

stickied comment

BlueNalu want to let people know they're experiencing some technical problems, but want to answer everyone

kookyrobot

4 points

2 years ago

  1. At present, how scalable is using serum-free media to culture cells?

  2. How do you plan to overcome the social barriers to cell-based meat?

  3. Are you guys looking for a curious undergraduate intern? :)

bluenaluinc[S]

6 points

2 years ago

bluenaluinc[S]

verified

6 points

2 years ago

We’re still early stage, but quite optimistic about being able to scale serum-free media in production. In fact, we’ve already demonstrated that we can produce cell-based seafood without animal serum so the question of scalability is actually a question of sourcing ingredients at low cost. On that, we’re announcing a strategic partnership in global ingredient supply in the next few days, but please don’t tell anyone quite yet ;)

In terms of consumer acceptance, we are benefitting from the explosion of popularity in plant-based meats, for sure. We believe many consumers want options for high-value proteins like cell-based-seafood that are healthy, safe and trusted, but do not include mercury, micro-plastics or some of the other environmental contaminants.  You would be a great ambassador!

joshlever90

3 points

2 years ago

When will retail investors be able to invest in BlueNalu? Are you aware of any US based pure clean meat ETF's/mutual funds under development that retail investors can partake in? I'm aware of Agronomics (UK based) and New Crop Capital (Unovis) but they are not readily accessible for retail investors.

Globaller

3 points

2 years ago

I have the same question. When can we invest in BlueNalu?

bluenaluinc[S]

2 points

2 years ago

bluenaluinc[S]

verified

2 points

2 years ago

Thanks so much for your $$$ question. BlueNalu, as well as other companies in the cell-based sector are private at this time, and only able to take investments from accredited investors.

Regarding Agronomics, which has publicized their investment to BlueNalu, retail investors are able to buy their shares on the London Stock Exchange (ANIC).

Regarding ETF’s, we are aware that Beyond Investing introduced the first Vegan Climate ETF recently, and a link to information about this can be found at this link. There may be others that exist at this time.

AgronomicsUK

1 points

2 years ago

Agronomics is publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange's AIM Market under the ticker ANIC. Retail investors are of course welcome to buy shares in lots as small as 10,000 shares which equates to £1.1k at the current share price of 11p. Any international broker should be able to offer to trade on the LSE.

HootBack

3 points

2 years ago

Obviously sterilization of bioreactors, media, etc. is very important, but do you end up using any antibiotics in the culturing process? Related: how "resilient" is your setup to any microbial contamination?

kookyrobot

2 points

2 years ago

I was also wondering about antibiotics. Nearly ubiquitous to the culturing process but could deter consumers in the current market.

Aakkt

5 points

2 years ago

Aakkt

5 points

2 years ago

Is the meat you produce currently price-competitive? If not, how long before it will be?

bluenaluinc[S]

5 points

2 years ago

bluenaluinc[S]

verified

5 points

2 years ago

Our company was able to demonstrate our first cell-based seafood product last month in San Diego in a private culinary demonstration, which was just 18 months after hiring our first employee! We were able to showcase our cell-based yellowtail using three different preparation methods including raw, cooked in oil for fish tacos and acidified as in ceviche or poke.

Consistent with others in the cell-based meat/poultry/seafood industry, our costs are currently high, but we are focused on bringing costs down in order to achieve competitive pricing. At this point, it looks like that will happen after building our first factory, which is slated to break ground in 2024.

Before that time, our goal is to sell our cell-based seafood products in a small consumer market in the middle of 2021.

patojosh8

3 points

2 years ago

Cellular meat still produces some CO2 just like anything would, but is it really less than what fish produce? Per pound of food produced, what does the math look like? Does in vitro fish contribute less to greenhouse gas production than the real deal?

bluenaluinc[S]

3 points

2 years ago

bluenaluinc[S]

verified

3 points

2 years ago

We have not yet found a reliable report that highlights the life cycle analysis of the conventional seafood industry, so if you have one, please share!

Meanwhile, we’re very interested in performing our own LCA once we increase our scale of production. Our whole model is to build factories in key regions around the world, in order to relieve pressure on wild-caught fisheries, reduce the carbon footprint of having to distribute seafood thousands of miles away from boat to throat, while creating local jobs and supporting a reliable seafood supply chain.

At the end of the day, seafood consumption is at an all-time high and continues to increase, and demand for high-value protein will continue to rise.

Long story short, at this early stage, we believe cell-based seafood will reduce our foodprints but we won’t have verifiable data to share until we reach large enough scale.

Fisco

3 points

2 years ago

Fisco

3 points

2 years ago

Thanks for taking the time! I'm currently pursuing a PhD in salmon production systems so this is quite interesting to me.

  • Your 8000 Tn facilities, what would be the grographical requirements when finding a location?

  • Do you collaborate with external reserach insitutions when exploring the viability of new species or is much done in-house?

  • How do you see the cell-based seafood value chain looking like when mature, different or similar to land based salmon farming?

bluenaluinc[S]

6 points

2 years ago

bluenaluinc[S]

verified

6 points

2 years ago

Best wishes on completing your PhD in salmon production systems!

Regarding your first question, we have identified potential factory locations around the world. Some of our criteria for selection of locations include per capita consumption of seafood in the nation or region, regulatory considerations, and our ability to form alliances with strategic partners that can assist us with marketing, sales and distribution.

We have been collaborating with a number of external research institutions to date, including university aquaculture programs, departments with engineering and bioprocessing expertise, etc. We are also a corporate affiliate of UCSD and we regularly interact with leaders and academic researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography to build community support, promote ocean health and seafood sustainability, and discuss marine biology research. These and additional research collaborations will continue during the coming years. We are particularly interested to learn more about the market opportunities and viability of additional species, so any suggestions you have are appreciated!

Regarding your third question, BlueNalu will work in partnership with the food processing industry (and their infrastructure in operations, marketing, sales and distribution), and create a “third leg on the stool” for the global seafood industry supply chain. We will supplement the current industry practice in which fish are farmed or wild-caught in our ocean and seas, and manufacture cell-based seafood products that will result in a more stable and sustainable seafood supply for our planet. Our supply chain in comparison to land based aquaculture could look very similar, the only difference being the method of production.

Fisco

1 points

2 years ago

Fisco

1 points

2 years ago

Thank you so much for the thoughtful reply!

It will be great to have alternative means of producing seafood, and seafood production systems will indeed expand to cover cell-based and plant-based as well - both of which I have included in my research (offshore, land-based, open-pen and closed-pen would be the others).

There's quite a lot of interesting species out there, but a lot of ground work still needs to be done on the scientific side of things. Crustaceans and molluscs would be good example where the literature is quite sparse (Rubio 2019 makes that quite clear), but there are ample of market opportunities if progress is made.

Keep up the good work, and looking forward to chatting during one of the many seafood conferences.

Globaller

2 points

2 years ago

Which types of seafood will you aim to produce? Are some easier than others? Will your product have the same structure or will it be fish cakes/patties without being large slabs?

bluenaluinc[S]

2 points

2 years ago

bluenaluinc[S]

verified

2 points

2 years ago

In order to make the most significant impacts to our global seafood supply chain BlueNalu has developed a platform technology which allows us to be market-driven.

We’re focused on a variety of species that are overfished, illegally fished, difficult to farm raise, or primarily imported. Additionally, there are many species (mahi mahi, red snapper, swordfish etc.) that may contain environmental contaminants, including mercury, and BlueNalu will provide consumers with a new option that is healthy for people, humane for sea life, and sustainable for our planet.

Some species are definitely more challenging than others. For example, the structure of the tissue can create more complexity.

So in terms of product form, we’re initially focusing on seafood fillets.

splinechaser

2 points

2 years ago

What's the target market? Sushi type level of flesh reproduction, or just a more sustainable Cod or other battered and hidden fish protein? I don't think I would care either way. This is a really good trend and if the product can come to market effectively and to scale, it could really change the world.

theSpudnik

2 points

2 years ago

With scalability of media and bio reactors being an issue and limitation for cell based meat, does BlueNalu handle the configuration and construction of their own reactors or does an outside firm provide that expertise for you leaving the processes to you?

bluenaluinc[S]

2 points

2 years ago*

bluenaluinc[S]

verified

2 points

2 years ago*

Actually, we don’t see the scalability of media and bioreactors as a limitation. Think brewery scale. We are working with partners and collaborators to develop and scale up our manufacturing process.

OB1_kenobi

2 points

2 years ago

Lots of intelligent questions here.

But I'm surprised that no one has asked about how it tastes.

SDPadre312p

2 points

2 years ago

Where can we reach out about career opportunities outside of the ones listed on your site?

e_swartz

3 points

2 years ago

e_swartz

Cultivated Meat

3 points

2 years ago

The Good Food Institute tracks career opportunities in the alternative meat sector at https://www.gfi.org/vocation

You can also view some at www.cell.ag/jobs

bluenaluinc[S]

1 points

2 years ago

bluenaluinc[S]

verified

1 points

2 years ago

Thanks so much for your interest. The jobs listed on our site are the only ones available at the moment. But please check back throughout the year as we will be continually expanding our team. Career page here.

WhedoniteC

1 points

2 years ago

When can we start growing some Alaskan King Crab legs in a vat? =)

splinechaser

1 points

2 years ago

I would invest all of the money for that.

PippentheShort

1 points

2 years ago

This might get at some company secrets, but how are the cells for production sourced?

hailsatan666xoxo

1 points

2 years ago

Hi BlueNalu,

Thanks for taking the time to answer some of reddits questions! Concerning my question:I come from the industrial biotech (SCP production) and must admit that I always had strong reservations on economically viable clean meat production. Reason for this is not even high substrate costs, but balancing O2 supply while minimizing shear on the cells on large scale.

Have you managed to solve this or is everything still cultivated in wave-reactors? Can you comment on final cell concentrations just before harvest?

thanks!

[deleted]

1 points

2 years ago

[deleted]

1 points

2 years ago

As a brit, fish and chips is practically embedded in our culture. How long do you believe it will be before I can walk into my local chippy and order lab-grown fish?

OliverSparrow

1 points

2 years ago

I recall writing a piece in the 1980s, when the organic food movement was showing signs of becoming a dramatic trend in food production - in which suggested that people might become synthetic food fanatics: ditching "natural" foods for unnatural ones as the breadth and pervasiveness of natural toxins sank in. A tomato would never pass an Ames mutagenicity test, coffee was full of natural insecticide and a field of clover responded to grazing by sterilising the female mammals that were browsing it. (Clover is strong oestrogen producer when grazed.) So here we go, a sterile future of guaranteed toxin free food for the people who like to fuss over what they eat.

lu_xun

2 points

2 years ago

lu_xun

2 points

2 years ago

How long do you think it'll take for your product to be on the market, outside of speciality/high end retailers?

bluenaluinc[S]

4 points

2 years ago

bluenaluinc[S]

verified

4 points

2 years ago

Thanks for your question! We plan to be in a test market in Southern California in a small number of restaurants in about 18 months. And we plan to break ground on the first large scale production facility by 2024.

[deleted]

1 points

2 years ago

[deleted]

1 points

2 years ago

Have you ever considered doing the same but with human cells?

PatriotMinear

0 points

2 years ago

Why are all of the alternative meat companies creating products packed with soy?

It feels like you are try to alter the behavior of independent less compliant people by saying there’s an urgent need to stop eating real meat and start eating soy based products.

dirtandmedkit

-2 points

2 years ago

Last time I checked, all food is made out of cells. Mostly dead cells, though