U.S – California-based BlueNalu, global leader in cell-cultured seafood, recently announced its commitment to pursuing third-party certification recognized by the international Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), such as the Safe Quality Food or similar programs to demonstrate the high standards of its product beyond domestic government regulations.
It has developed a framework designed to achieve a premier standard of food safety, quality, and traceability for its cell-cultured seafood production.
GFSI certification programs follow a globally consistent standard for the demonstration of safety and quality and are validated by independent third-party audits.
“BlueNalu aims to be a globally leading cell-cultured seafood producer, recognized for the highest caliber of safety, quality, and traceability,
“Food quality and safety are core values at BlueNalu and it is especially important that we not only meet regulatory requirements, but also establish the highest standards to achieve trusted third-party certification. We are pleased to announce BlueNalu’s commitment to GFSI certification standards for our cell-cultured seafood,” said Lou Cooperhouse, BlueNalu President and CEO.
While cell-cultured seafood is receiving more and more attention, regulatory approval is still a key snag.
According to new insights from tech-enabled researcher and innovation advisory survive provider, Lux Research, more than USD 800 million has been invested in the space since its arrival in 2016, and the industry has grown from a handful of startups to about 80 startups in 2021.
While these major players are all taking different approaches to regulation, Lux Research suggests each should follow Singapore.
“In December 2020, Singapore became the first country to approve cell-based meat, spurring industry momentum. While this is a step in the right direction, there is still a lack of clarity on global regulations related to cell-based meat,” highlighted Harini Venkataraman, Lux research analyst and author of cell-based research.
The lack of global standards from government organizations makes industry leader BlueNalu’s commitment to third-party certification through GFSI momentous.
Building a strong quality systems framework through an international organization could help raise the standards of other companies, building a culture of providing high-quality cell-based seafood no matter what governmental regulations look like.
“It’s imperative that we create a culture of food safety and put comprehensive systems in place to enable traceability of our supply chain. We’re committed to laying the groundwork early for a scalable, top-tier food safety and quality management system that we intend to replicate globally in markets that we enter,
“By pursuing the highest caliber of safety, quality, and traceability in our food production processes, we hope our commitment and leadership raises the industry standard for other companies in our category,” remarked Noreen Hobayan, Director of Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs, BlueNalu.
BlueNalu’s current quality systems framework includes a strong food safety culture through structured trainings and assessments, a robust quality assurance system based on GFSI benchmarking requirements and state of the art methods to verify the quality and safety of cell-cultured seafood.
It also includes traceability policies designed to ensure materials, equipment, and processes meet the highest possible standard, and the pursuit of premier third-party certifications.
The company intends to launch its cell-cultured mahi, bluefin tuna, and other species through small-scale market testing that will be produced at its pilot-scale food production facility in San Diego.
It is also aiming to break ground on its first large-scale, regional production facility in the next few years.