CellX Announces China’s First Cultivated Meat Pilot Factory
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Shanghai-based cellular agriculture company CellX and food manufacturing specialists Tofflon have signed a strategic partnership agreement to develop the first cultivated meat pilot plant in mainland China.
In the race to feed China’s 1-billion-plus population, cultivated meat startup CellX and food manufacturing pioneer Tofflon say their partnership to develop cellular agriculture rapidly and at scale is more efficient and more sustainable than conventional factory farming methods.
Cultivated meat expertise
Using CellX’s cultivated meat expertise and Tofflon’s biological equipment and production capability, the companies say they can accelerate the scale-up of cultivated meat in the Asian market with the new facility. CellX told Green Queen that construction has already started this month and they expect the plant to be operational by mid-2023.
CellX and Tofflon will finance the construction together, with Tofflon providing financial capital for the project.
CellX says the new facilities will allow for a thousand-liter scale of its serum-free media suspension lines. The facility will be home to multiple thousand-liter bioreactors and offer consumer tasting space in a move the companies say marks China’s first “transparent food space” for cultivated meat research and development, pilot production, and public tasting.
In an email exchange, CellX said that Tofflon was custom-building the bioreactors for the startup to “suit our own bioprocess”.
“CellX is the leading cultivated meat company in China,” Xiaodong Zheng, chairman of Tofflon, said in a statement. “It has built R&D platforms across the four major technological pillars of cultivated meat — cell line development, media optimization, novel bioprocess design, and end product innovation. Cultivated meat is a promising application of biotechnology in the field of food tech. With the experience and expertise accumulated in the field of biopharma and food production, Tofflon will help CellX to speed the scaling up of its cultivated meat products and it hopes to contribute to a sustainable future for human kind”, he said.
“Besides being the world’s largest meat market, China is also an emerging leader in the field of bio-manufacturing,” said Ziliang Yang, co-founder and CEO of CellX.
“Thanks to its booming biotech industry, China is quickly building a strong infrastructure and supply chain. Tofflon is one of the world’s leading providers of comprehensive solutions for drug and food manufacturing, and their equipment and technologies can be quickly applied to the field of cultivated meat,” Yang said. he called the pilot facility the “cornerstone” of CellX’s journey to scale up its cultivated meat production in China.
“As part of our strategic partnership, the construction of a pilot facility is the cornerstone of CellX’s journey to scale up cultivated meat production in China.
“I look forward to working with Tofflon to bring cultivated meat to consumers in China and around the world”, Yang said.
The announcement follows CellX’s $10.6 million Series A funding raise last spring.
“Cellular agriculture uses next-generation technologies to create new proteins and new materials in a more sustainable way. Compared to traditional animal agriculture, cellular agriculture uses significantly fewer resources and emits less carbon,” Yang said in a statement last May. “Cultivated meat has by far the largest market with the most carbon reduction promises within cellular agriculture, and it is also CellX’s current focus. We started with domestic pig breeds and have quickly expanded to beef and poultry.”