BlueNalu Inc., a leading food technology company developing cell-based seafood products, recently announced several key strategic developments, including a substantial expansion of the company’s operations, the hiring of a chief financial officer and the enhancement of its research and development (R&D), project management and engineering teams.
BlueNalu has signed a lease for an expansion to its administrative, R&D and manufacturing space at a new facility in San Diego, Cal., that is more than 38,000 sq. ft. -- a six-fold increase from the current BlueNalu space.
The larger facility will include a Good Manufacturing Process (GMP) pilot-scale food production plant that will be designed for the commercial production of BlueNalu’s various cell-based seafood products in its initial test markets. The new location will also feature the first BlueNalu kitchen and demonstration space, providing up-close-and-personal culinary experiences with cutting-edge chefs and sustainable seafood ambassadors, as well as a peek into BlueNalu’s production process, the company said.
BlueNalu continues to develop its platform technology that enables production of a broad array of marine species, initially focusing on finfish like mahi mahi, red snapper, tuna and yellowtail.
The company said it is developing cell-based seafood products that will be healthy for consumers, humane for sea life and sustainable for the planet and will be free of harmful levels of mercury, pathogens, parasites, microplastics and other environmental contaminants.
Further, BlueNalu said its products are designed to have the same taste, texture and performance as conventional seafood in all cooking and preparation methods. In fact, the company recently demonstrated that its yellowtail product had the same culinary characteristics as conventional yellowtail in all preparation applications, with the ability to be prepared in the raw or cooked form and prepared via acidification.
“The announcement of this new facility is an exciting milestone for BlueNalu, as it is our intent to launch our products in the marketplace during the second half of 2021,” BlueNalu chief executive officer Lou Cooperhouse said. “I am also pleased today to announce the hiring of Amir Feder as our CFO, who will work closely with me on investor relations, corporate governance and our long-term corporate strategy.”
BlueNalu also recently expanded the team in its project management, technology, product development and engineering areas and anticipates doubling its staff to approximately 50 team members during the next 9-12 months.
Cooperhouse added, “BlueNalu is continually exploring opportunities for growth and proactively investigating the expansive opportunities for our cellular aquaculture process. We have developed an internal think tank, BlueNalu Innovations, to explore these opportunities and implement the collaborations and partnerships that will help us to realize the breadth of our vision.”
BlueNalu’s new facility and the expansion of its team follows recent news regarding the completion of its $20 million Series A round of financing. The company has attracted investors from 11 nations to date, originating from Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North and South America. BlueNalu has also attracted strategic investments from Griffith Foods, a global product development partner to the food industry; Nutreco, a global leader in animal nutrition and aquaculture feed; Pulmuone, a global leader in healthy lifestyle and sustainable food products; Rich Products Ventures, the corporate venture arm of multinational food product supplier Rich Products Corp., and Sumitomo Corporation of America, a global investor and supplier of good and services, including foods.