CMFRI director Dr A Gopalakrishnan.

India looks to cell-grown fish meat to meet growing demand


India’s Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) has launched a pioneering project to grow fish from cells, reports Vegconomist website, which references a report in The New Indian Express.

CMFRI, a tropical marine research organisation within the Ministry of Agriculture, is reported to have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Neat Meatt, a cell-grown-meat technology solutions provider based in Delhi, to develop a commercially viable process for large-scale production of high-value species like kingfish.

The collaboration will see the CMFRI work on genetics, biochemistry, and analytics, while Neat Meatt will optimise cell growth media, develop scaffolds or microcarriers for cell attachment, and establish a platform for commercial-scale operations.

Growing demand

Vegconomist reports that CMFRI director Dr A Gopalakrishnan sees the collaboration as a significant milestone in connecting India with leading countries in 'cultivated'  (cell-grown) meat production. Singapore and the United States have already approved cultivated chicken, and Israel, just two weeks ago, gave the green light to Aleph Farms’ cultivated beef.

The CMFRI aims to leverage cellular agriculture to address the growing demand for fish while reducing the environmental impact of overfishing and traditional fishing practices. India's population is 1.445 billion, whichmakes up 17.2% of the world's population and is second only to China (1.467bn, or 17.99%).

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has established a regulatory framework for approving, producing, and distributing cultivated meat and other novel foods. However, Vegconomist said it was not aware of the FSSAI yet receiving dossiers for cultivated meat.