World’s biggest cultivated meat factory is being built in the U.S.

It will be able to produce 22 million pounds of cultivated meat annually. 

By Kristin House

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Cultivated meat is produced by combining muscle cells, extracted from living animals, with substances that help the cells grow. The mixture is then placed inside in a machine called a “bioreactor,” which provides the ideal conditions for the cells to multiply. 
  • Because cultivated meat is molecularly identical to the kind that comes from whole animals, it has the same flavor.  
  • For cultivated meat to have any real impact on the meat industry, though, the companies making it need to get costs down — for instance, by scaling up production.  

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Israeli startup Believer Meats has begun construction on the world’s biggest cultivated meat factory — and once it’s up and running, the US-based facility will be able to produce at least 22 million pounds of meat annually.

The challenge: Cultivated meat is produced by combining muscle cells, extracted from living animals, with substances that help the cells grow. The mixture is then placed inside in a machine called a “bioreactor,” which provides the ideal conditions for the cells to multiply.

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Cell-Based Meat Will Be Sold At A Butchery For The First Time Ever

Singapore continues to lead the progress of cell-based meat

BY AMY BUXTON

Cell-based meat – also known as cultured, cultivated, or sometimes slaughter-free meat – will soon be available to buy at a butcher’s shop for the first time.

The breakthrough launch is taking place in Singapore. There, Huber’s Butchery has partnered with food tech company Eat Just. It has done so in order to sell its GOOD Meat-branded chicken. 

According to GOOD Meat, which Eat Just launched in 2016, its cultured products are “real meat, made without tearing down a forest or taking a life.” 

Singapore remains the only country in the world to approve cell-based meat to be sold and served to the public. However, these have previously been facilitated by limited food service locations only, including fine-dining restaurants and hawker centers. Eat Just also partnered with one of Asia’s largest food delivery platforms, foodpanda.

Now, butcher’s shops appear open to the idea of including cultivated products in their display cases, alongside traditionally produced meat.

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A meat company is building the world’s largest facility in the US

“We are on the path to creating the change we seek.”

By Nergis Firtina

The company’s first U.S. commercial-scale production facility is planned at 200,000 square feet, with possible expansion in the future.

Israeli-based company Believer Meats is commencing its first U.S. commercial facility in North Carolina. Located in Wilson, the company’s new spurt will be the biggest and largest cultivated production facility established so far, covering a site of 200,000-square-foot (18580,608 m2). 

Believer Meats is one of the largest companies producing lab-grown meat with non-GMO animal cells. The company is cruelty-free and very respectful of the ecological environment. With the 10,000 metric tons of cultivated meat capacity, Believer Meats seems to be about to change the industry. 

“Our facility propels Belieber forward as a leader in the cultivated meat industry,” says Nicole Johnson-Hoffman, CEO of Believer Meats, in the press release. 

“Our brand has continually proven our commitment to scale production technology and capacity, and with our new U.S. production center, we are one step closer to commercialization. Believer Meats is setting the standard globally to make it possible for future generations to eat and enjoy meat.”  

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Celebrity-Backed NotCo Brings Its AI-Developed Vegan Chicken to Burger King

By Jill Ettinger 

Chile’s NotCo expands its presence in its backyard with new vegan chicken options in Burger King Chile.

It’s been a busy year since NotCo, the Chilean food-tech startup known for its AI technology dubbed Giusseppe, raised $235 million in a Series D funding round that included backing from tennis star Roger Federer, F1 Driver Lewis Hamilton, and Oscar-winning musician and filmmaker, Questlove.

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New Artificial Photosynthesis Method Grows Food With No Sunshine

By Vanessa Bates Ramirez 

How can we grow more food using fewer resources? Scientists have been focused on this question for decades if not centuries, as an ever-growing global population necessitates constantly seeking new ways to produce food in sustainable and affordable ways.

Here’s a question most of us have never contemplated, because it seems so unfathomable: what if crops could grow without sunlight—not vertical farm-style, where LED light replaces the sun, but in total darkness?

A paper published last week in Nature Food details a method for doing just that.

Photosynthesis uses a series of chemical reactions to convert carbon dioxide, water, and sunlight into glucose and oxygen. The light-dependent stage comes first, and relies on sunlight to transfer energy to plants, which convert it to chemical energy. The light-independent stage (also called the Calvin Cycle) follows, when this chemical energy and carbon dioxide are used to form carbohydrate molecules (like glucose).

A research team from UC Riverside and the University of Delaware found a way to leapfrog over the light-dependent stage entirely, providing plants with the chemical energy they need to complete the Calvin Cycle in total darkness. They used an electrolysis to convert carbon dioxide and water into acetate, a salt or ester form of acetic acid and a common building block for biosynthesis (it’s also the main component of vinegar). The team fed the acetate to plants in the dark, finding they were able to use it as they would have used the chemical energy they’d get from sunlight.

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Artificial photosynthesis can produce food without sunshine

Plants are growing in complete darkness in an acetate medium that replaces biological photosynthesis.

by Holly Ober,  University of California – Riverside

Photosynthesis has evolved in plants for millions of years to turn water, carbon dioxide, and the energy from sunlight into plant biomass and the foods we eat. This process, however, is very inefficient, with only about 1% of the energy found in sunlight ending up in the plant. Scientists at UC Riverside and the University of Delaware have found a way to bypass the need for biological photosynthesis altogether and create food independent of sunlight by using artificial photosynthesis.

The research, published in Nature Food, uses a two-step electrocatalytic process to convert carbon dioxide, electricity, and water into acetate, the form of the main component of vinegar. Food-producing organisms then consume acetate in the dark to grow. Combined with solar panels to generate the electricity to power the electrocatalysis, this hybrid organic-inorganic system could increase the conversion efficiency of sunlight into food, up to 18 times more efficient for some foods.

“With our approach we sought to identify a new way of producing food that could break through the limits normally imposed by biological photosynthesis,” said corresponding author Robert Jinkerson, a UC Riverside assistant professor of chemical and environmental engineering.

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Lion Burger, Tiger Steak From Lab-Grown Meat Hit the Market

Tiger steak for dinner?

By Tasos Kokkinidis

A British company called Primeval Foods is pitching lab-grown meat, such as lion burgers, tiger steaks, and zebra sushi rolls to climate-conscious consumers.

The company says it wants consumers of plant-based meat alternatives to switch to lab-grown meats in a bid to preserve the planet.

Lab-grown meat is produced by cultivating animal cells directly to produce food from any species without slaughtering animals. It also allows producers to replicate the sensory and nutritional profiles of conventional meat.

Although most companies focus on the most common meat categories in demand, such as chicken, beef and pork, Primeval Foods may be the first of its kind to entice consumers with exotic “cultured” meat products.

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California’s New Lab-Grown Meat Facility Is the Most Advanced in the World

And it will be open to visitors.

If you weren’t aware of it, the amount of meat that humans consume globally has rapidly risen over the decades and meat production is now at an all-time high. According to the Worldwatch Institute, meat production has tripled over the last forty years, increasing by 20 percent in just the last decade. And more meat production leads to more carbon emissions that feed climate change.

Since the issue has become a major problem, companies around the world have been working on green alternatives to meat products. Perhaps you might remember our previous coverage of Impossible Foods’ Impossible Burgers and how they’re nearly identical to regular patties and Redefine Meat’s 3D-printed steaks. 

One such company is Upside Foods, a cultured meat company that is headquartered in Berkley, California, and it claims that its vast 53,000-sq ft (16,154-m²) facility is the world’s most advanced lab-grown meat facility, so far.

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The Cow That Could Feed the Planet

Limousin cows in Farmer John’s pasture. Mosa Meat will cultivate their cells in a lab to grow into hamburger that is genetically identical, no slaughter required 

BY ARYN BAKER

The cows in Farmer John’s pasture lead an idyllic life. They roam through tree-shaded meadows, tearing up mouthfuls of clover while nursing their calves in tranquility. Tawny brown, compact and muscular, they are Limousins, a breed known for the quality of its meat and much sought-after by the high-end restaurants and butchers in the nearby food mecca of Maastricht, in the southernmost province of the Netherlands. In a year or two, meat from these dozen cows could end up on the plates of Maastricht’s better-known restaurants, but the cows themselves are not headed for the slaughterhouse. Instead, every few months, a veterinarian equipped with little more than a topical anesthetic and a scalpel will remove a peppercorn-size sample of muscle from their flanks, stitch up the tiny incision and send the cows back to their pasture.

The biopsies, meanwhile, will be dropped off at a lab in a nondescript warehouse in Maastricht’s industrial quarter, five miles away, where, when I visit in July, cellular biologist Johanna Melke is already working on samples sent in a few days prior. She swirls a flask full of a clear liquid flecked with white filaments—stem cells isolated from the biopsy and fed on a nutrient-dense growth medium. In a few days, the filaments will thicken into tubes that look something like short strands of spaghetti. “This is fat,” says Melke proudly. “Fat is really important. Without fat, meat doesn’t taste as good.”

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World’s Most Advanced Lab-Grown Meat Facility Opens In California

By Katie Spalding

As people become more aware of the devastating environmental cost of animal agriculture, there’s been a veritable explosion in the number of plant-based alternatives hitting the shelves, with some promising vegan “meat” that’s virtually indistinguishable from the real thing. One company named Upside Foods is ready and waiting to serve up an even more authentic experience: real meat, but with none of the agriculture.

On Thursday, November 4, the company opened a vast facility in Emeryville, California – 16,154 square meters (53,000 square feet) of renewably-powered vats and tubes going by the name of the Engineering, Production, and Innovation Center, or “EPIC”. It’s been billed as the first of its kind, and the company says it’s ready to start producing 22,680 kilograms (50,000 pounds) of cultured meat for commercial scale – just as soon as it’s legal in the US.

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THE USDA JUST MADE ITS FIRST INVESTMENT IN LAB-GROWN MEAT

In its first investment into the lab-grown meat space, the USDA awarded $10 million to Tufts University to establish the National Institute for Cellular Agriculture.

by ANNA STAROSTINETSKAYA

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) just made its first investment in the lab-grown meat industry. The government agency will award $10 million over the course of five years to Tufts University to establish the National Institute for Cellular Agriculture, a flagship American cultivated protein research center. The project aims to create a more resilient food system by developing “outreach, extension, and education for the next generation of professionals” in the field of cellular agriculture—which revolves around the use of a small amount of animal cells to create real meat and other animal proteins, replacing the environmentally damaging practice of raising and slaughtering animals for food. 

“USDA’s historic funding for a National Institute for Cellular Agriculture is an important advancement for cultivated meat research and science,” Appropriations Committee Chair Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) said in a statement. “I am pleased that USDA’s leadership continues to recognize the important role these technologies can play in combating climate change and adding much needed resiliency to our food system.”

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Relocalize Raises $1.4M to Feed Humanity Sustainably with Micro-Factories

Relocalize, a North American food-tech company, today announced the closing of a $1.4M pre-seed round to fund the development of the first ever automated food micro-factory. 

The round is led by grocery retail and industry leaders including senior executives from Slack, Emerson, ex-Sobeys and an undisclosed USA-based retail chain.

“Our food system is the single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions,” says Relocalize CEO Wayne McIntyre. “At Relocalize, we drastically reduce the carbon footprint of production by eliminating long-haul transportation. We’re making food where people live, unlike conventional centralized producers.” 

The company plans to deploy thousands of micro-factories at grocery distribution centres across North America. Their first micro-factory, which will produce packaged ice, will be deployed in November 2021. 

“Consumers increasingly factor sustainability into their buying decisions and retailers have taken note,” says Marc Poulin former Sobeys CEO. “Our industry needs innovative suppliers like Relocalize to achieve our sustainability objectives. Their technology reduces both cost and CO2, which is transformative.”

Since the company’s founding in November 2020, Relocalize in-licensed, designed, patented, prototyped and tested its technology, as well as secured a leading Southern-US retail launch partner for their first sustainable premium ice micro-factory.

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