The Nasdaq-listed company has revealed plans to establish, own and operate a scaled-up facility
Foodtech company MeaTech 3D has announced its intention to establish, own, and operate a pilot plant to commence scaled-up cultured chicken fat production in 2022. The plan is consistent with its vision of developing a suite of advanced manufacturing technologies to produce cultured meat products.
The cultured fat production process will be designed to deploy technologies developed by Belgian subsidiary Peace of Meat, which was acquired by MeaTech earlier this year. MeaTech’s goal is to produce cultured chicken fat for use in potential industry collaborations.
MeaTech chief executive Sharon Fima said: “We believe that our cultured fat is an extremely promising additive ingredient that can potentially improve the taste, texture, and mouthfeel of plant-based alternative meats, which we believe can further drive market growth.”
As observed in laboratory work and public taste tests, cultured chicken fat has the potential to significantly enhance the flavour, mouthfeel, and texture of plant-based alternative meat products whilst reducing the total number of ingredients.
The resulting hybrid food products, composed of plant and cultured meat ingredients, have the potential to offer a meatier product to consumers as compared to purely plant-based meat alternatives. MeaTech is engaging in food technology development activities designed to further enhance these cultured chicken ingredients and products.
Fima continued: “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.”
MeaTech intends to use the pilot facility to showcase its capabilities to potential customers. MeaTech’s business model involves licensing the intellectual property surrounding its cultured chicken fat technologies, including cell lines, bioprocesses and downstream technologies to business-to-business customers that want cellular agriculture manufacturing capabilities.
Manufacturing cultured chicken fat at scale would represent a key MeaTech milestone. By leveraging its cultured chicken fat technologies, MeaTech aims to expedite its market entry while it develops, in tandem, an industrial process for cultivating and producing real meat cuts, such as steak or chicken breast, using 3D bioprinting technology.
Dirk von Heinrichshorst, co-founder and chief executive of Peace of Meat, 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 plans to incorporate its 3D bioprinting technologies in the pilot plant, to manufacture real meat cuts from cellular agriculture.
Date published: 11 May 2021