Fish & Seafood

Bluu Seafood Moves from Lübeck to Open Pilot Plant and HQ in Hamburg

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Bluu Seafood, a food biotech company engaged in the production of cultivated fish, officially opened its first pilot plant in Europe on April 11. By relocating from Lübeck, Germany, to Hamburg-Altona, the start-up enterprise has left laboratory scale behind in exchange for 2,000 square meters of customized research, production and headquarters office space to develop and produce fish products.

The new fermenters, which currently have a capacity of 65 liters with the potential to expand to 2,000 liters, will enable Bluu Seafood to cultivate muscle, fat and connective tissue cells from Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout in much larger quantities than before.

At the optimal temperature, with the necessary oxygen supply and the appropriate nutrients, the animal cells grow and divide in the same way as they do in live fish. The products made from the cell mass, such as fish sticks and fish balls, are both GMO-free and free from heavy metals and microplastics sometimes found in wild-caught fish. They are similar to conventional products in terms of taste, nutritional content, and cooking behavior.

With the new plant and the associated scale-up, BLUU Seafood is taking the next step towards industrial production.

“With the facilities at our new site, we are laying the foundations to supply the first markets. In Hamburg, we have the ideal conditions to continue to grow and continuously reduce production costs,” said Dr Sebastian Rakers, the company’s co-founder and co-chief executive officer.

At present, the cost of producing cultivated fish is still higher than the average price of wild and farmed fish, but this will gradually change as capacity increases, according to Rakers.

“If the scalability and market conditions are favorable, we will be able to offer cultivated fish at wholesale fish prices in as little as three years. The new site is an important building block in this development,” said the chief executive officer.

Blue Seafood therefore anticipates to receive the first commercial approval for its efforts to be granted in Singapore during early 2025, with the United States and the European Union to follow.