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US Firm Builds Largest Vats Ever for Cruelty-Free Meat

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An American company will build the world’s largest bioreactors to produce artificially grown meat that doesn’t require killing animals.

ood Meat, the cultured meat division of Eat Just, has commissioned the largest known bioreactors for cultured chicken and beef.

Cultured meat, sometimes referred to as cell-based meat, clean meat, cultured meat, and in vitro meat, is artificially grown real meat made by directly culturing animal cells.

After the cells are taken from a healthy animal — which is not killed in the process — they are placed in a large tank where they are fed nutrients until they divide and grow.

Ten 250,000 liter bioreactors will be built in the US and will form the basis of Good Meat’s large-scale cultured meat facility. Good Meat claims the complex will have the capacity to produce up to 30 million pounds of meat without having to slaughter a single animal.

According to a University of Illinois study, global food production is responsible for a third of all human-produced gases that heat the planet, with meat causing twice the pollution of plant-based foods.

The facility will initially produce chicken and beef, and the company plans to distribute the products to millions of customers across the United States. Good Meat plans to complete site selection over the next three months and continues to work with the Food and Drug Administration and US Department of Agriculture on a regulatory path to market.

Josh Tetrick, co-founder and CEO of Eat Just, said Good Meat is the only cultured meat company in the world to receive regulatory approval.

“Our first step was to get regulatory approval and launch in Singapore,” he said.

“Our second step was selling to customers through restaurants, street vendors and delivery platforms. We have learned that consumers want this, and we are ready to take the next step to make this a reality at commercial scale.”

Meanwhile, food tech fund Synthesis Capital raised a record $300 million to invest in companies making alternative proteins, from cow-free ice cream to 3D-printed plant-based steaks.

Synthesis closed the largest fund ever dedicated to food technology, just as higher interest rates and rising food costs cloud the financing environment. The fund focuses on companies that help start-ups scale production, said co-founder Rosie Wardle, adding that recent market changes mean it will take a more conservative approach to capital allocation over the next few months.

“We are very technology and innovation-oriented,” she said in an interview. “On the consumer-facing side, there’s a lot of capital going into brands, and we’re not doing that.”

According to Bloomberg Intelligence, the plant-based market could quintuple to $166 billion over the next decade as consumers become more aware of health and environmental concerns about factory farming.

Synthesis is backed by investors including the Credit Suisse Climate Innovation Fund and trusts associated with the Sainsbury family. It is anchored by private equity investor Jeremy Coller, founder of ESG Group FAIRR.

About 40 percent of the funds will go to plant-based products and technologies, including Israeli company Redefine Meat, which makes 3D-printed steaks. The money is also going to technologies that grow protein substitutes using precision fermentation techniques. The fund has invested in synthetic dairy maker Perfect Day Inc., which is testing cow-free ice cream.

Another investment is Culture Biosciences, which is helping alternative protein companies scale up production. Just 10 percent of the fund goes into cultured or lab-grown meats, including a stake in Upside Foods Inc.

Synthesis said it is looking at technologies that are a hybrid of food technology and biotechnology that make proteins that appeal to so-called flexitarians. However, some of the technologies being invested in – such as Cultured meats, for example, have a long lead time before they become commercial and will not be on store shelves or helping to reduce agricultural emissions any time soon.

“Certainly, raising funds has become more difficult,” said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Jennifer Bartashus. “It has changed to the point that these companies need to chart a clear path to profitability.”

According to Pitchbook, investments in food technology in the first quarter fell 40 percent from the previous three months to $6.9 billion. “This reversal could be the first step in a larger market recalibration,” Pitchbook analysts wrote in a report.

The sector has also come under pressure from the poor performance of stocks like Oatly Group AB and Beyond Meat Inc., which have fallen sharply over the past year.

https://www.independent.ie/business/technology/news/us-firm-to-build-biggest-ever-vats-for-no-cruelty-meat-41697389.html US Firm Builds Largest Vats Ever for Cruelty-Free Meat

Fry Electronics Team

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