Valorization of marine by-products in cellular agriculture for the production of sustainable blue food

Due to the global population growth, the high pressure on resources is expected to double in the coming decades, owing to a growing demand and production of food. To meet this global demand, food scientists and producers are currently focus on securing sustainable protein and energy supply for feeding humans and farmed organisms.

The products subjected to high demand will be mainly those of animal origin, especially meat, fish and dairy products. Among the proposed solution, cellular agriculture is a new alternative for sustainable and innovative food production, mentioned also within the blue transformation strategy.

Cellular agriculture consists in producing food products such as meat or fish by biotechnological approach, from cells culture, rather than whole organisms such as animals. UNIPA is actively working on that field within the marine domain, in the framework of the “CELLtoFOOD” project (PRIN projects, Research Projects of Significant National Interest). Due to its expertise in produce bioactive compounds from marine by-products, UNIPA will provide food grade ingredients obtained from fishery value-chains, to substitute some media compounds (lipids, antioxidants, bioactive peptides) in the cultivation of cells, for the production of artificial meat/fish.

Thanks to these research activities, UNIPA will contribute to provide an open source protocol for cultured meat and fish, freely available to research community to stimulate collaborative researches to define the benefit and challenges of this production. The general goal is to contribute to circular economy pathways, meeting also the 2030 Agenda for sustainable consumption and production.

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