Largest investment means mass production of cultivated meat

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Grilled cultured chicken (bottom) compared to farmed chicken (top). Photo: Future Meat Technologies
Grilled cultured chicken (bottom) compared to farmed chicken (top). Photo: Future Meat Technologies

Just shy of US$?350 million has been raised by a cultivated meat producer in Israel which “paves the way for massive expansion” for cultured chicken meat production.

After opening the world’s first cultivated meat production line in Israel earlier this year, just 3 years after its launch, Future Meat Technologies has raised US$ 347 million in Series B round of financing. The round was co-led by ADM Ventures, the venture investing arm of ADM, while other investors included Tyson Ventures.

The company has also announced that it is now producing cultivated chicken breast for US$ 1.70 per 110 g chicken breast (US$ 7.70 per pound), which is considerably less than what it had achieved some months ago. Professor Yaakov Nahmias, the company’s founder and president, notes that the technology paves the way for a “massive expansion of operations”, adding that the team will break ground on the “first-of-its-kind, large-scale production facility” in the US in 2022.

Apollo programme of the 21st century

“We have consistently demonstrated that our single-cell technology and serum-free media formulations can reach cost parity faster than the market anticipates,” added Nahmias, who previously described the space as the Apollo programme of the 21st century.

Cultivated meat is transforming food production

Expanding the cell lines for the growing cultivated meat market is continuing to receive financial support with an additional £1 million granted to Roslin Technologies from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). Read more…

“It is our mission to create a more sustainable future for coming generations. Our technology can produce meat on a fraction of the land currently used for meat production.” The company says its technology is based on stainless steel fermenters which continuously remove waste products generated by “immortal” tissue cells. This means that a constant physiological environment that supports rapid, natural, proliferation of animal cells.

First industrial cultured meat production facility

In June, the company announced the opening of the world’s first industrial cultured meat facility with the capability to produce 500 kg of cultured products a day, equivalent to 5,000 hamburgers. The facility can produce cultured chicken, pork and lamb, without the use of animal serum or genetic modification. The production of beef is anticipated.

Sustainability

The production cycles are about 20 times faster than traditional animal agriculture, notes the company, adding that the production process is anticipated to generate 80% fewer greenhouse emissions, use 99% less land and 96% less freshwater than traditional meat production. The final product, it says, is exactly the same in terms of nutritional value.

Consumer adoption of cultivated meat

In July, 2,016 American consumers were surveyed by Future Meat Technologies to better understand awareness of and preferences around cultured meat. It revealed that over 1 in 3 consumers surveyed plan to adopt cultured meat into their diet when launched. Furthermore, 58% of respondents had a general awareness of cultured meat, and over 50% of respondents had actively changed their diets to become more “conscious”.

Berkhout
Natalie Berkhout Freelance journalist
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