TORONTO — CULT Food Science Corp. introduced its new pet food brand Marina Cat™. The brand focuses on hybrid, cell-cultivated food and treats for cats that boast high nutritional and sustainability benefits.

With sustainability becoming a large concern for consumers and pet parents alike, CULT honed its focus on creating more environmentally friendly foods for dogs and cats without compromising on nutritional value. Since cats are obligate carnivores, many cat food products are formulated using fish proteins. However, this has caused a significant strain on the global fish supply, according to CULT. In fact, the amount of raw fish products used just by the cat food industry in 2008 equaled 2.48 million tonnes.

To overcome this problem, CULT partnered with Umami Bioworks, a Singapore-based biotech startup, to create more eco-friendly cat nutrition products. Marina Cat is a blend of ocean snapper, which is cultivated by Umamai Bioworks, and CULT’s Bmmune® ingredient. The result is a high-protein, low-calorie snack for cats with an umami flavor without the use of any animal-derived ingredients.

“We are pleased to be embarking on this partnership with Marina Cat to power a new category of cultivated pet food products that are healthier for cats and better for our oceans,” said Mihir Pershad, chief executive officer of Umami Bioworks. “As a platform technology provider, we are committed to delivering the technology stack that powers commercialization of cultivated products across a range of applications. This first collaboration with Marina Cat and CULT Food Science is the first step to delivering on that promise.”

In addition to its sustainability benefits, Marian Cat treats also offer high nutritional benefits, containing high levels of Omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids, as well as DHA and EPA, to help support cognitive function and vision and nervous system development.

Production of Marina Cat’s products is set to begin later this year with product availability expected in 2024. According to CULT, Marina Cat represents a “world first for the pet food industry” by leveraging cell-cultivated technology.

“My vision for the future is that we no longer have to slaughter other animals to feed our cats,” said Joshua Errett, vice president of product at CULT. “This brand brings me one very great step closer to making that a reality.”

In addition to Marina Cat and CULT’s partnership with Umami Bioworks, the company also announced a partnership with Everything But, a Korean pet food startup. Through the partnership, Everything But will supply CULT with cell-cultivated chicken to use in sustainable pet food products.

Based in Seoul, Korea, Everything But is a venture-backed pet food company. Founded by veterinarians and scientists, it is the first-ever Asian cell-based pet food company, according to  the brand.

In collaboration with Everything But, CULT will develop dog and cat food products for its Noochies! Cultivated Pet Food, Marina Cat and Indiana Pet Foods brands using cell-cultivated chicken. Cell-cultivated chicken was recently approved for sale for human consumption in the United States; however, the same has yet to happen in the pet food sector, as pet food ingredients require approval from the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM).

Despite this, CULT is moving ahead with cell-cultivated chicken products, as chicken is the leading protein consumed by US pets and poultry farming carries a significant environmental footprint. According to CULT, factory farmed chicken manure has been shown to contaminate air, land and soil, as well as drinking water sources and oceans.

“Our partnership with CULT transcends a mere business collaboration,” said Yoonchan Hwang, founder of Everything But. “Both Everything But and CULT share a profound vision for the well-being of our pets, the preservation of our environment, and a future where innovation seamlessly aligns with compassion.”

Everything But’s process for creating its chicken products includes taking a sample from a live chicken and scaling the cells in bioreactors. The cell-cultivated chicken ingredient can then be used in pet nutrition products, including complete-and-balanced meals, treats, toppers, and even supplements.

“Chicken is the most sought-after farmed animal meat in pet food, globally,” Errett said. “By bringing cell-cultivated chicken-based pet products to the United States, we are able to fill existing market demand but at the same time create a whole new category of sustainable pet products.”

According to CULT, its cell-cultivated chicken products will represent the world’s first cell-cultivated chicken pet products brought to market. The company plans to announce the availability of the new products in the future.

“Our collaboration with Everything But is illustrative of our commitment to shaping the future of food at a truly global scale,” said Lejjy Gafour, chief executive officer of CULT. “These ingredients will allow us to reach even more customers with innovative products.”

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