Singapore Business Awards 2023

May22239 Umami Meats produces cultivated seafood which help tackle a variety of issues that we are currently facing due to climate change and overfishing. It provides us with a solution that enables seafood lovers to be able to enjoy their favourite dishes while making a positive impact to our environment. We take a closer look at the company’s approach to making this happen. The beginning of fishing dates back to thousands of years ago, it is something that humans have consumed and enjoyed through many generations. However, as the population increased, the need to fish larger quantities grew, which led to finding alternative ways to fish more efficiently in order to meet demand. It is now our responsibility to undo the damage that began due to trying to keep up with demand. Climate change is threatening our oceans and the fish population, and overfishing creates wider issues that add to the problem. Bottom trawling is a practice that captures species by towing a net along the ocean floor, this leads to bycatch and has a negative effect in the ecosystems – making it less sustainable to maintain current fisheries. There are new techniques being implemented to improve the sustainability of fishing, however there is still a need for new ways of meeting demand that don’t destroy the environment and the species that live in it. Umami Meats believe to have found an alternative that is a lot more sustainable called, cultivated seafood. Cultivated seafood involves taking a fish’s cell line and combining them with a growth serum that help the cells divide and grow at a fast rate in big quantities. The next step is to put the cells into a bioreactor with sugars and salts that they need to grow, enabling to gain a few million cells than then turn into many billions of cells. Finally, the cells can then be harvested and structured into meat which means Umami Meats can produce the edible muscle and fat of the fish without needing to fish for it. This enables to make high-end products like eel, sushi, fish fillets as well as hybrid foods to meet demands of a variety of customers at a range of prices. There is a major challenge faced by cultivated seafood which is where the growth serum is obtained from. Currently, it comes from foetal bovine serum, which is harvested from the blood of foetal calves, it is not only expensive, but it is not sustainable. Growth serum is a vital step in the process of creating cultivated seafood, this is why Umami Meats developed a new way of obtaining a growth serum that supports the growth of cells of fish as well as other animals while avoiding ethical challenges. It uses upcycled legume biomass and other plant-based materials that is able to produce a growth serum which is 100% plant derived. This technique enables Umami Meats to produce species that are not easily farmed, to which there is a high demand for, but are considered to be in danger. Starting with, Japanese eel, yellowfin tuna and red snapper, Umami Meats prides itself on being able to provide its customers with seafood that has the same taste and nutrition as seafood directly obtained from the sea. It has the added positives that its products are free from heavy metals such as mercury, as well as being plastic and antibiotic free. In addition, it provides food security given that they are highly traceable so its clients can know where the seafood comes from and that it is safe to eat. In the future it hopes to be able to grow its expertise and widen the products they make available to the market, for that Umami Meats is currently looking for collaborators and strategic partners to bring cultivated seafood to people all across the globe. Umami Meats tackles a variety of issues that we are currently facing and provides us with a solution that enables seafood lovers to be able to enjoy their favourite dishes, while having a direct positive effect on climate change by reducing the carbon emissions generated by the catch and transportation of fish. Its great effort to making a difference and using technology to create new ways of saving the environment, and its inhabitants, don’t go unrecognised as Umami Meats now holds the title of Sustainable Seafood Producers of the Year 2023. We look forward to seeing it expand globally and make its innovative way of consuming nutritious seafood more available. Contact: Mihir Pershad Company: Umami Meats Web Address: Sustainable Seafood Producers of the Year 2023 Dec22505