XPRIZE: These 28 Companies Want To Feed The Next Billion With Alternative Protein

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In an effort to discover next-gen proteins, XPRIZE announced its Feed the Next Billion semifinalists teams. These teams will collectively be awarded around US$500,000 to accelerate their development process of alternative chicken and fish proteins making them accessible worldwide.

XPRIZE

The nonprofit organization XPRIZE is dedicated to designing and executing competition models to support companies and initiatives that are solving some of the world’s biggest challenges. These competitions include US$100 Million XPRIZE Carbon Removal with Elon Musk, US$10 Million Rainforest XPRIZE, and US$1M Digital Learning Challenge.

Launched in December 2020, the XPRIZE Feed the Next Billion is a US$15 million competition which looks for ways to feed future generations by supporting the manufacturing of structured chicken breast or fish fillet alternatives that replicate the feel and texture of their animal-based counterparts.

Originating from the Future of Food Impact Roadmap, an insightful analysis of the challenges faced by the food system, the competition was launched by ASPIRE, the program management area of Abu Dhabi’s Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC); The Tony Robbins Foundation, the nonprofit organization that aims to empower individuals and groups that enhance the quality of life of vulnerable people; Good Food Institute, Foundation for Food and Agriculture; District 3; New Harvest; and Proveg International.

The competition’s panel of judges have arrived at 28 semifinalist teams spanning 14 countries, that were selected based on their technical applications.

Over the past several years, as our global population continues to grow and the demand for meat products increases, it has become clear that our current global food chain cannot keep up

Caroline Kolta, lead of the XPRIZE Feed the Next Billion Program

Next-gen proteins

Below are some of the teams that are moving forward in the competition –

  • Air Protein, United States: working on technology to produce protein “virtually anywhere on the planet”
  • BlueNalu, United States: develops a range of seafood products from fish cells
  • DiverseFarm-Structured Meat, Japan: aims to offer cultured meat delicacies like deep-fried cell-based duck and steamed cultivated chicken
  • ENOUGH – NO LIMITS, United Kingdom: through a zero-waste fermentation process, grows a mycoprotein product –  Abunda
  • GOOD Meat, United States: a company that made history as the world’s first cellular agriculture-produced meat to be sold commercially back in December 2020
  • Revo Foods, Austria: responsible for 3D printed plant-based salmon
  • Umiami, France: developed a new proprietary texturisation technology to develop plant-based cod and chicken filets
Source: GOOD meat

The semifinalists included Another Fish, Canada; Atlast Food Co, United States; Boston Meats, United States; Brew51, India; CELL AG TECH, Canada; CellX, China; IntegriCulture, Japan; Kernel Mycofoods, Argentina; MeatOurFuture, South Africa; Meati Foods, United States; MyoWorks, India; Novel Farms, United States, ProFillet, Canada; SeaSpire, New Zealand; The PlantEat, South Korea; TFTAK, Estonia; Better Meat Co, United States; Umami Meats, Singapore; Whiteboard Foods, Canada and Wildtype, United States.

In a press release seen by Green Queen, lead of the XPRIZE Feed the Next Billion Program, Caroline Kolta, said: “Over the past several years, as our global population continues to grow and the demand for meat products increases, it has become clear that our current global food chain cannot keep up. We know we need more nutritious, environmentally friendly, and sustainable alternatives to conventional animal-based products, and that wide-scale adoption will require additional innovation continuously being brought to market. I am thrilled about the international cohort of Semifinalists selected to embark on this journey of innovation and exploration to shape a future of food, starting with chicken and fish.”

Source: ENOUGH

Prizes worth US$15 million

These semifinalists will work with the competition’s ecosystem and sponsors like ASPIRE and The Tony Robbins Foundation over the next year to develop the first model of their products. Subsequently, around the end of 2022, 10 finalist teams will be selected based on how innovative and effective their prototypes are. They will then collectively received a US$2.5 million award.

We know we need more nutritious, environmentally friendly, and sustainable alternatives to conventional animal-based products, and that wide-scale adoption will require additional innovation continuously being brought to market

Caroline Kolta, lead of the XPRIZE Feed the Next Billion Program

To win the competition, teams are required to develop around twenty-five cuts of structured chicken breast or fish fillet alternatives 115 grams or four-ounce. The options should be quite similar to traditional meats in taste, feel, and nutritional properties. The winner will receive a prize of US$7 million and second and third place will receive US$2 and US$1 million respectively, along with an additional award of US$2 million.

The judging panel consists of tech industry experts like Dan Blaustein-Rejto, director of Food & Agriculture at The Breakthrough Institute; Dr. Keith Cox, co-founder, and chief scientific officer of Seafood Analytics and Olivia Ogilvie, with a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Cellular Agriculture.


Lead image courtesy of DiverseFarm.


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