Future Meat Announces the World’s First Cultivated Ground Lamb Meat
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Israel-based Future Meat Technologies has developed the world’s first cultivated ground lamb meat that it says looks, cooks, and tastes just like conventional lamb meat for use in burgers, kebabs, and other dishes.
“In passing this milestone, Future Meat reinforces its position as a leader and pioneer in the cultivated meat industry and shows again the limitless potential of how innovation can drive sustainable solutions,” Nicole Johnson-Hoffman, CEO of Future Meat, said in a statement.
The key learnings, Johnson-Hoffman says, will be leveraged to produce other meats, including beef and pork.
Cultivated lamb meat
The cultivated lamb was three years in the making for Future Meat, which says the development will help to disrupt the global lamb meat market—which spans the globe, specifically Europe, the Middle East, Northern Africa, and parts of Asia. The company says reaching this milestone with ovine cell lines means that it can now produce cultivated lamb “at scale” and “accelerate its innovation focus to expanding into even more animal species.”
“Since lamb has a uniquely distinct flavor, it is very clear if a cultivated substitute is on or off the mark,” said Michael Lenahan, General Manager of Future Meat. “The reason Future Meat’s cultivated lamb is indistinguishable from conventional lamb is because it is, first and foremost, real meat. It sizzles, sears and tastes just like people expect—it’s amazing.”
The food tech company was the first to replace Fetal Bovine Serum and all other animal components beyond the cell lines in the cultivated meat development. “Future Meat’s approach leans on the natural spontaneous immortalization of fibroblasts, rather than genetic modification,” said Prof. Yaakov Nahmias, President, Founder and Chief Science Officer of Future Meat Technologies. “This is the key to Future Meat’s cells being non-GMO.”
Future Meat says it is gearing up to enter the U.S. market once there’s regulatory approval for cultivated meat. Currently, only Singapore allows the sale and consumption of cultivated animal products.
Israel’s food tech hub
Israel is a hotbed for food tech, specifically cultivated and plant-based animal products. As of the end of June, more than $320 million in investment funding had been distributed to Israel-based companies, according to the Good Food Institute Israel.
“2021 saw alternative protein placed at the forefront of the food-tech industry, with several massive investment rounds intended to accelerate scale-up and allow young companies to become global leaders for a better food system,” Aviv Oren, Director of Business Engagement and Innovation, GFI Israel, wrote in the mid-year report.
“This momentum draws more investors, governments and multinational companies, as it is clearer than ever that to meet climate change goals and prevent future pandemics we must leverage technology to change the way we consume our food. Israel is leading this change, with more startups and more investment in alternative protein than any country besides the U.S.”