Israeli startup MeaTech is now able to produce over half a kilogram of cell-based chicken fat in a single production run. According to the firm, the prototype is the first example of 100% pure cultivated fat biomass grown in this quantity outside of an animal, and brings the food tech one step closer to commercialising realistic hybrid alternative proteins.
MeaTech has revealed it is now producing 700 grams of cell-based chicken fat biomass in one single production run. The manufacturing technology is based on Peace of Meat’s platform, the Belgian cultivated fat startup that the Israeli food tech acquired last year. MeaTech claims that this is the “first public demonstration of growth in a single run of this quantity of 100% pure cultivated cell biomass.”
Cell-based fat will unlock meaty taste
MeaTech says its latest achievement brings it one step closer to creating better-tasting, realistic alternative proteins. While current plant-based alternatives on the market have grown in popularity, some consumers remain unconvinced, citing the lack of “meaty” mouthfeel and texture. And for the Israeli startup, the key to unlocking the flavour and taste that consumers love about real meat is animal fat.
It says that its cultivated chicken fat can be used not only to develop whole-cut marbled cell-based meats, but also bring about “hybrid” products by combining plant-based protein ingredients with cultured fat.
“The product, pending novel foods approval, is designed to be just like conventional chicken fat. Our shorter-term goal is that this type of cultured chicken cells can be commercialized by MeaTech in strategic hybrid product development collaboration,” shared David Brandes, managing director of MeaTech subsidiary Peace of Meat.
“Today’s preliminary production success brings us one step closer to our longer-term goal of changing human diets towards more sustainable, yet equally savory, food choices,” he added.
Cultivated fat production plant
Looking ahead, MeaTech, which has recently filed to get its cell-based fat production method patented in the US, says it wants to build out its cultivated fat production abilities. By 2022, the startup hopes to build a pilot plant dedicated to churning out slaughter-free animal fat cultured directly from cells.
“The production capabilities we have demonstrated today are a successful step in line with our strategy of developing a pilot plant for cultivated fat production, which we are planning for 2022,” revealed MeaTech CEO Sharon Fima.
It will complement the startup’s cultivated protein platform, which includes bioprinted cell-based meats such as marbled steak. The startup most recently revealed it is now also in the R&D process to create cell-based pork, which it plans to commercialise with Israel’s biggest non-kosher pork producer and supermarket chain Tiv Ta’am.
All images courtesy of MeaTech.