Upside Foods bolsters cultivated seafood capabilities with acquisition of Cultured Decadence 

USA – California-based food technology company Upside Foods is expanding its cultivated meat portfolio with acquisition of Madison, Wisconsin-based cellular agriculture company Cultured Decadence.

Founded in 2020 by John Pattison and Ian Johnson, Cultured Decadence uses cell culture and tissue engineering to create seafood, specifically shellfish products, from animal cells. 

It has developed proprietary cell lines and cell feed for a variety of products, including lobster and other crustaceans. 

The company last spring raised $1.6 million in funding to create the first shell-free, cell-cultured lobster meat in North America. 

Its acquisition represents an important opportunity for the California-based company to add new technology, know-how, and production capabilities.   

The acquisition will for instance accelerate the commercialization of a range of seafood products grown directly from animal cells, said Uma Valeti, founder and chief executive officer of Upside Foods.  

With the acquisition, all of the Cultured Decadence employees, IP, and technology will become part of Upside Foods. 

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Cultured Decadence will adopt Upside’s brand while remaining in Wisconsin as the company’s new Midwest Hub. 

Upside Foods announced last year that chicken would be the first product it brought to market.  

However, the company has been working on producing many other kinds of meat from cells since its founding in 2015. 

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The last few years have been huge ones for Upside Foods, which raised the funds to build its California pilot plant — known as its Engineering, Processing and Innovation Center — and started making meat there in November.  

Last month, the company announced it had removed all animal components from the growth medium it used to create cells.  

And last summer, the company announced a partnership with Michelin-starred chef Dominique Crenn, who will serve Upside’s chicken at her Atelier Crenn restaurant, the menu for which does not generally contain meat. 

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