Cultivated-eel-meat firm Forsea Foods raises $5.2 million in seed round

The company plans to begin building its pilot plant in 2023.

Cultivated-eel-meat start-up firm Forsea Foods Ltd. (Rehovot, Israel) raised USD $5.2 million in a recent seed round. The company plans to begin building its pilot plant in 2023 and says it is the first company to use organoid technology to create cultured-seafood products.

“The organoid approach to cultivating fish tissue involves creating an ideal environment for fish cells to spontaneously form their natural composition of native fat and muscle. They grow as a three-dimensional tissue structure just like they would grow in nature,” the company’s press release states.

It continues: “Forsea utilizes a non-GMO organoid platform in which the eel meat is grown ex vivo as a three-dimensional tissue structure in the same manner it would grow in a living fish. This technology bypasses the scaffolding stage and requires fewer bioreactors, a process that is much simpler and more cost-effective than traditional cell culturing. It also dramatically reduces the amount of expensive growth factors required, making the final product more affordable.”

The company says it plans to expand its production method to other types of seafood. For now, it is focusing on eel meat for which demand is growing in markets like Europe and Asia for foods like sushi, despite the eel being an endangered species.

The company says the new funding will “allow the company to create a preliminary design for a large-scale alpha production system, and to launch the company’s first products.” It says that it will also “improve and expand its core technology to enable organoid growth in large-scale bioreactors, while developing methods to increase production yield and profitability at a lower cost.”