SDC portfolio company BlueNalu has announced the signing of a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Nutreco, a global leader in animal nutrition and aquafeed. Building on the success of previous collaborations, this LOI represents a joint interest in establishing and scaling up a food-grade supply chain for cultivated seafood.
“Our vision to create a healthy, secure and sustainable protein solution with cell-cultured seafood, starts by solving several key challenge areas, which include the shift from a pharma-grade to food-grade ingredient supply,” said Lou Cooperhouse, co-founder, president and CEO at BlueNalu. “I’m proud to share that between our team’s innovation and incredible strategic partners, we’ve continued to overcome these hurdles. We are excited to strengthen our partnership with Nutreco as we aim to scale together to bring nutritious seafood products to consumers worldwide.”
Coinciding with the participation of Nutreco in the Series A financing of BlueNalu, this LOI – which originated in December 2019 – is the third agreement between the two companies. This next stage of the companies’ partnership marks the beginning of Nutreco’s food-grade supply infrastructure development. Done in parallel with BlueNalu’s production scaling from pilot scale to regulatory development, this will propel subsequent commercialization activities.
The initial phase of this collaboration will involve BlueNalu and Nutreco joining forces to bring down the costs of cell feed and establish specifications and metrics for raw materials essential for producing BlueNalu’s proprietary cultivated seafood products.
This LOI is complimentary to BlueNalu’s large-scale commercialization plans and supports the startup’s differentiation with whole-muscle products, including a non-GMO, single suspension line, and proprietary lipid-loading technology allowing for continuous production.
These developments are furthered in BlueNalu’s 38,000 sq ft pilot production facility in San Diego, California; the company’s innovation center. Currently, the focus is on the production of the startup’s cultivated premium bluefin tuna toro. In the coming years, the company intends to develop a full line of nutritious products for consumers.
“At Nutreco, it is our purpose to feed the growing global population in a safe and sustainable way, and we understand the important role cell-cultured proteins can play in addressing this global challenge,” said Joost Matthijssen, Chief Strategy Officer at Nutreco. “That is why we are pleased to invest further to support BlueNalu’s ongoing development and commercialization efforts and the cell-cultured industry at large.”