MeaTech To Open Pilot Plant In Europe To Produce Cultured Chicken Fat To Enhance Overall Feel Of Meat Alternatives

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After its recent acquisition of Belgian B2B startup Peace of Meat, 3D bioprinted cultivated meat developer MeaTech 3D has revealed its intentions to set up and operate a pilot plant to manufacture cultured chicken fat in Belgium by 2022.

Israeli food-tech company Meatech 3D, which works on creating advanced technologies to manufacture cultured meat products will be setting up a pilot plant in Belgium to introduce cultured fats into its existing line and will make use of technologies provided by Belgian subsidiary Peace of Meat, which it recently acquired.

Several months ago, the firm announced a US$7 million funding round, out of which it used US$1.19 million to acquire Peace of Meat, the same company that was selected last year as one of Big Idea Ventures’ (BIV) cohorts for its stem-cell-based technology to manufacture cruelty-free avian fats including duck, goose and chicken fats, as well as cultured liver.

The main purpose behind the upcoming plant is to produce cultured chicken fat that can be used across industry partnerships. During laboratory and public taste tests, the fat showcased its potential to hugely improve the flavor, mouthfeel, and texture of alternative meat products without the need for too many other additional ingredients.

The result of this technology means a slew of hybrid food products consisting of both plant and cultured meat ingredients with Meatech looking to offer consumers a meatier plant-based product than other pure alternatives available in the market.

A key challenge facing the cultured meat industry is cost-efficient production. We believe that establishing this pilot plant facility and scaling up our cellular agriculture technologies will be a significant step forward toward achieving cost parity with conventional meat

Sharon Fima, CEO of MeaTech

In a press release seen by Green Queen, CEO of MeaTech, Sharon Fima, said the company believes that its cultured fat is an “extremely promising additive ingredient”. “It can potentially improve the taste, texture, and mouthfeel of plant-based alternative meats, which we believe can further drive market growth. A key challenge facing the cultured meat industry is cost-efficient production. We believe that establishing this pilot plant facility and scaling up our cellular agriculture technologies will be a significant step forward toward achieving cost parity with conventional meat as well as realizing MeaTech’s vision for the ‘Factory of the Future’ – comprising the inputs, processes and equipment underlying a flexible cultured meat manufacturing facility.”

Source: MeaTech

In addition, the company’s business model includes licensing the intellectual data around its cultured chicken fat technologies, consisting of cell lines, bioprocesses and downstream technologies to B2B customers that would be interested in the capabilities of cellular agriculture manufacturing.

MeatTech aims to establish itself as a company that produces cultured chicken fat on a large scale and will further work on developing an industrial process that can cultivate and produce conventional meat cuts, such as steak or chicken breast by employing 3D bioprinting technology and will use the same in its plant to manufacture these cuts from cellular agriculture.

With the new plant, we believe we can demonstrate a fully functional production process to B2B customers looking to include cultured ingredients in their products

Dirk von Heinrichshorst, CEO and Co-Founder of Peace of Meat

CEO and Co-Founder of Peace of Meat, Dirk von Heinrichshorst said: “Setting up a pilot plant to produce Peace of Meat’s cultured chicken fat at scale will be a significant milestone. With it, we believe we can demonstrate a fully functional production process to B2B customers looking to include cultured ingredients in their products. We believe the pilot plant can be a model for larger scale future production facilities.”

MeaTech was in the news for the US$25M valuation it sought out for its U.S. IPO. The firm would go on to make headlines for being the first cell-based company to go public in the U.S., after becoming a publicly traded company on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, another record-breaking offering as the first cell-based meat company to go public on the exchange.


Lead image courtesy of MeaTech.

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