Jellyfish – the new aquaculture-based superfood
Jellyfish is not the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of a delicious food in the western world. But in fact, jellyfish is highly nutritious and lean, and it's hailed as a new superfood. The European Commission recognised that already in 2019 and funded a project in 2020. Now, the first tank-breeding systems have been developed.
24 August, 2022
By Bert Popping
Like many Europeans, I did not think I would eat jellyfish, let alone like it. Several years ago, my Chinese colleagues in Hong Kong took me on a tour through various restaurants offering national cuisine. One of them served a sweet and sour marinated glass noodle dish. Or so I thought. The glass noodles were somewhat “al dente” I thought, but still very tasty. Of course, my Chinese colleagues looked at me as I devoured the dish. “Do you know what you are eating”, they asked with a grin on their face. “It appears like al dente glass noddle sweet and sour”, I said. Of course, they were all laughing, explaining that what I considered to be al dente glass noodles was actually jellyfish. I looked at them and continued eating my dish. Even knowing what I ate, it was not repulsive at all. It was just tasty. And these days, we see more and more frequently jellyfish hailed as a new super food. And that has a good reason. Jellyfish have a high protein content, similar to salmon, but contain substantially low fat. Also, their diets are less complex. The European Commission foresaw this development already in 2019, and the H2020-funded EU project PULMO is paving the way for putting jellyfish on the plates of European consumers.
Most recently, Spanish researchers from the national research council (CSIC) have designed an aquarium which enables them to grow jellyfish for food products in tanks, contributing to another source of sustainable foods..
This is yet another innovation that provides food from different sources. It also requires different skillsets from the traditional fishery and aquaculture skills. Here, you also need engineers and biologists. This is where the EIT Food-funded AGAPE-Skillset project seamlessly links by providing job and skill matches through its AI-based platform.