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Pairwise Rolls Out First CRISPR-Edited Produce to U.S. Restaurants

Pairwise, a startup specializing in developing gene-edited produce, today announced the launch of its first product, a CRISPR-developed mustard green. The new product will launch into the restaurant/food service channel under Conscious Greens Purple Power Baby Greens Blend in partnership with the food service specialist Performance Food Group.

The launch of gene-edited produce by Pairwise comes almost three years after the company got the sign-off from the USDA for its gene-edited mustard green. Up to this point, mustard greens aren’t usually found often on menus due to their pungent smell and bitter taste, but with changes engineered by CRISPR technologies, Pairwise hopes to create a nutritious alternative to kale and Brussels sprouts that also tastes good.

While the Conscious Foods blend with Pairwise’s mustard greens will be the first publicly announced CRISPR-edited produce publicly available in the US market, the product follows the earlier launch of gene-edited tomatoes in Japan in late 2021. That product was produced by Sanatech Seed, which used CRISPR to increase the amount of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a supplement that researchers claim can reduce blood pressure and improve moods.

The release of the Sanatech Seed tomatoes came roughly the same time gene-edited fish became commercially available in Japan. In late 2021, Kyoto-based Regional Fish Co., Ltd. started selling genome-edited “Madai” red sea bream and “22-seiki fugu” tiger puffer fish which were edited to grow bigger.

In the US, large ag conglomerates like Simplot have been working with CRISPR since 2018, developing the technology to reduce bruising and black spots in potatoes or extend the life of the strawberry. However, as of this point, Simplot and other firms working with the technology haven’t announced the public availability of their products.

Pairwise, which showcased its CRISPR-edited produce for one of the first times earlier this year at The Spoon’s CES food tech happy hour, plans to roll out its Conscious Foods product into grocery stores later in 2023