The Future Of Seafood Starts In North Carolina:
Pearlita Foods is bringing Oysters from bioreactor to table
The co-founders, Nikita Michelsen, CEO, and marine biologist Joey Peters, PhD. cand., Head of Science, are headed to Raleigh to build the future of seafood at Pearlita Foods, starting with Oysters. Together, they will use cellular agriculture to grow oysters in their lab.
The eco conscious co-founders with a love for seafood have decided to base the company in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park’s booming biotech and future of food hub.
“It only makes sense to base Pearlita Foods out of Raleigh. Not only is North Carolina the second largest estuarine system in the country, it is also the fastest-growing biotech and future of food hub. So we will be close to the ecosystems where Oysters thrive and amongst other entrepreneurs - both which we believe will accelerate our growth” says, Nikita
With North Carolina’s 12,331 miles of coastal shoreline, the Raleigh based lab also hopes to learn from long-standing traditions and help support the Seafood industry.
“Instead of harvesting and killing oysters from the sea we grow them, using cellular agriculture. Just as animal would, we are creating a mixture of nutrients to raise cells in a controlled environment free of disease or chemical contamination. By culturing cells we are providing a new untapped source of seafood, which is meant to support wild populations by reducing the impact from fishing” says, Joey Peters.
While there are other cultivated meat companies within seafood that are using cell-culture, Pearlita Foods is the first company taking on the rare delicacy - Oysters. Making this delicious and high value seafood cleaner, more accessible and more sustainable.
“Pearlita is going to deliver something very unique. By utilizing novel cellular agriculture, they will make one of the highest premium proteins accessible to all. I am very thrilled that the triangle will be home to yet another great cell-based company” says Stephanie Michelsen, advisor to Pearlita Foods and CEO of Jellatech.
Thanks to initial funding from Sustainable Food Ventures & Big Idea Ventures New Protein Fund the future of seafood will be within reach!
“We’re delighted to be able to back Perlita, the first cell based Oyster company in the world aiming to make cleaner and kinder, to our oceans, seafood” Mariliis Holm, Co-founder and Partner at Sustainable Food Ventures
Culturing mollusk seafood has proven to be no easy task, because the tissues we eat are so complex. It’s actually this complexity that gives them the unique textures and flavors that we love.
“Although this is a huge challenge we plan to build a passionate team with the unique culturing expertise in this niche field to produce this novel, sustainable seafood. With support from investors I have no doubt we will accomplish great things” says, Joey Peters.
Ultimately, the endeavor to produce cell-based mollusk seafood will lead to removing much of the burden we place as consumers on marine life. We would no longer have to expend significant resources and manpower to harvest shellfish in the wild or raise them in farms. And both of these practices, although well-intended, have significant impacts on the marine environment. People can trust that Pearlita Foods’ cell-based mollusks are raised in an environment free of environmental pollutants or diseases that prevent healthy consumption. Both consumers and the environment can look forward to cultivated oysters.