Cultivated icon Cultivated

“Rainbow roll 2.0” showcase for cultivated seafood

Given the nascent market for cultivated meats, especially for cultivated seafood, a “Rainbow Roll 2.0” product could be an attractive market-entry commercial product.

Production platform
  • Cultivated icon Cultivated
Solution category
  • Commercial
Value chain segment
  • End Products
Technology sector
  • Bioprocess design
  • Cell line development
  • Scaffolding
Relevant actor
  • Startups
  • Industry
Maturity level
  • 0 – Complete whitespace

Current challenge

Currently, cultivated meat is a budding yet promising technology for alternative protein. However, given that these products are still in their early stages of development and require substantial technological and R&D investment, market-entry products that are easily feasible should be developed to showcase the technological potential and test consumer interest. Considering the high costs of current cultivated meat production and the limits on the types of end products that can be produced, less complex but high end products are the ideal initial market entries.

Proposed solution

For cultivated seafood, thin sheets of cultivated fish for layering on the outside of maki rolls could be an attractive market-entry commercial product. The product could optionally incorporate cells from several fish species in a striped or gradient pattern as a modern take on the rainbow roll. This could be envisioned as a “Rainbow Roll 2.0”, where the traditional rainbow roll of sushi topped with slices of a variety of fish would be replaced with cultivated fish sheets. Producing thin sheets of tissue is more technically straightforward than thicker muscle cuts, and this product category commands high price points, which could make the high prices for cultivated meat more palatable for consumers. Cultivated production presents particularly strong food safety advantages for seafood products that are consumed raw, which may contribute to high consumer receptivity. Cultivated fish would not have the parasite risk associated with wild caught sushi fish or the toxin risk associated with farm-raised fish.

Anticipated impact

Recently, the first cultivated meat product was approved for commercial sales in Singapore. This triggered a flood of global media coverage and sent positive safety and normalizing signals for regulatory, consumer, and food industry audiences.

As a technical proof of concept and a highly engaging media opportunity, the development of a “Rainbow Row 2.0” or similar sushi products utilizing thin sheets of cultivated fish would help cement cultivated meat’s reputation as a high-potential technology in an appealing and feasible way.

GFI resources

The cover of the 2023 state of the industry report on cultivated meat and seafood by the good food institute

State of the Industry Report: Cultivated meat

This report details the commercial landscape, investments, regulatory developments, and scientific progress in the cultivated meat and seafood industry.

School of fish

Introducing PISCES, a new data navigation tool to inform alternative seafood development

There’s a lot of research on the cellular and molecular components needed to match conventional seafood’s taste, texture, and aroma. We’ve put together a resource to help alternative seafood researchers…

Lab partners looking in microscope

Find collaborators

Join the GFIdeas global community of 2,000+ entrepreneurs, scientists, investors, and subject matter experts. Discuss projects on the members-only Slack community, attend monthly seminars, and use the community directory to help you find collaborators working on similar Solutions!

  • Cultivated icon Cultivated
  • Fermentation icon Fermentation
  • Plant-based icon Plant-Based

Decision matrix for seafood target species selection

Creating an online, open-access decision matrix tool that ranks popular seafood-relevant species against each other based on several criteria such as market size, per-unit price, sustainability of conventional production practices,…

Read more
  • Cultivated icon Cultivated

Uptake and biosynthesis of fat in cultivated meat cells

To recapitulate meat’s fat profile, research is required to determine which lipids muscle and fat cells can produce efficiently—and from which precursors—and which lipids they can absorb directly from the…

Read more
  • Cultivated icon Cultivated

Development and industry-wide adoption of standards for meat characterization

A more comprehensive understanding of the processes, structures, and molecular constituents governing meat’s organoleptic properties will inform the production of alternative proteins.

Read more
Female scientist doing alternative protein research in a lab

Explore the full solutions database

Browse 300+ startup ideas, commercial opportunities, research projects, and investment priorities throughout the alternative protein supply chain.

Get involved

If you’d like to fund a research project, work on any of these solutions, share information about related efforts that are already underway, or elevate new ideas for advancing the alternative protein industry, we’d love to hear from you!