Cultimate Foods

©Cultimate Foods

Cultimate Foods: “Cultured Fat Can Immensely Improve the Quality and Flavour Experience of a Meat Alternative”

Founded in 2022, the Berlin startup Cultimate Foods specialises in the cultivation of animal fat. As an ingredient, the fat is intended to give plant-based meat products an authentic meat flavour and texture. The result is a hybrid product, i.e. a combination of plant-based protein and cell-based ingredients. At the end of April 2024, the company received   from leading biotech and foodtech investors. Eugenia Sagué, co-founder and MD, and Senior Scientist Dr Marline Kirsch explain why the company decided to cultivate fat cells, which nutrient solution is used for this and what the biggest challenges currently are for the startup. Cultimate Foods focuses on hybrid products in which plant-based products are combined with cultured animal cells. Why are you focussing on this hybrid form …

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Students from the University of Waterloo in Canada, have received over $700,000 in grants to expand their AI-based research in advancing cultivated seafood.

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University of Waterloo Students Secure $700,000 to Revolutionize Cultivated Seafood with AI

Kevin Shen and Rikard Saqe, students from the Faculties of Science and Mathematics at the University of Waterloo in Canada, have received over $700,000 in grants from Good Food Institute (GFI), Mitacs, and New Harvest to expand their research in advancing cultivated seafood with AI. The research goals, formulated within the Waterloo Alt Protein Project design team, a global network of over 60 student-led organizations supported by the GFI, aim to establish the large-scale production of cultivated seafood, specifically fish. Using AI, the researchers will predict and enhance cell behavior and create detailed genomic and proteomic profiles. Additionally, they will employ multi-omics technologies and use single-cell RNA sequencing to gain insights into the cellular makeup of fish. The collected data will be used to develop …

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Dr. Cornelius Lahme of BLUU GmbH

Dr. Cornelius Lahme © BLUU GmbH

Bluu Seafood: “The Technology Behind Cellular Agriculture is Still Too Abstract for Many Consumers. We Have to Take People With Us”

Bluu Seafood specialises in cultured fish. Fish fingers, fish balls and caviar have already been produced from the cells of Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout. The startup emerged from the Lübeck-based Fraunhofer Research Institution for Marine Biotechnology and Cell Technology (EMB), where co-founder Dr Sebastian Rakers was also employed for many years. Together with entrepreneur Simon Fabich, the cell and marine biologist founded Bluu Seafood (then known as Bluu Biosciences). A pilot plant has been in operation in Hamburg since 2024. Bluu Seafood has applied for authorisation for its products in Singapore and the USA. Dr Cornelius Lahme, responsible for marketing and communication at Bluu Seafood, talks to us in an interview about why the cultivation of fish is so important, what exactly the division …

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Onego Bio Secures $15.2M for Animal-Free Bio-Identical Egg Protein

US-Finnish precision fermentation company Onego Bio has secured $15.2 million in funding from the European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator Program and other Series A investors. This takes the amount raised by the company in 2024 to $55 million, and its total funding to $70.8 million. Onego Bio produces Bioalbumen®, an animal-free bio-identical egg protein manufactured as an industrial food ingredient. Bioalbumen is said to have perfect protein quality, full functionality, and a neutral flavor; it could also alleviate the environmental burden of conventional egg production by as much as 90%, while providing a stable supply. This is likely to be very attractive to manufacturers, since chicken eggs have been plagued by supply chain issues in recent years. Commercialization Onego says it is focusing on commercializing …

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Simple Planet's cultivated meat

© Simple Planet

Bio Future Food Industry Association Launches in South Korea to Boost the Cultivated Meat Sector

The Bio Future Food Industry Association has launched in South Korea to support and develop the country’s cultivated meat sector. Established under the Korean biotechnology Industry, the new association boasts participation from 32 members, including the cell ag companies Simple Planet, SeaWith, CellQua, and TissenBioFarm and established food giants like Daesang and CJ CheilJedang. The Association plans to serve as a communication channel with relevant government agencies, hold regular seminars, build a global network, and promote cooperation programs among member companies. The aim is to enhance the country’s competitiveness in the global cultivated meat market. Uniting efforts The inaugural meeting was held at the COEX convention center in Gangnam-gu, Seoul, where Simple Planet’s CEO, Dominic Jeong, was elected as the inaugural chairman. Jeong holds a Ph.D. …

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A partnership between the Singapore’s UMAMI Bioworks and the young US company Friends & Family Pet Food Co (FnF) is set to launch one of world's first cultivated fish cat treats brand in Singapore and San Francisco in early 2025.

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UMAMI Bioworks and Friends & Family Pet Food Co. to Launch Cultivated Fish Cat Treats in 2025

A partnership between Singapore’s UMAMI Bioworks, (previously Umami Meats) and the young US company Friends & Family Pet Food Co. (recently part of the ProVeg Incubator’s 12th cohort) is set to launch one of the world’s first cultivated fish cat treats in Singapore and in San Francisco, USA, early next year. The new products, reportedly crafted with high-quality cultivated fish proteins enriched with high-value microalgae and essential nutrients, aimed to promote what FnF calls a “Longevity Diet” for cats. In addition, the animal and ocean-friendly cat food lineup offers significant environmental benefits since cultivated fish production is more resource-efficient, requiring less land, water, and feed than traditional fishing methods or aquaculture. Joshua Errett, Friends & Family CEO and founder, states, “Together, we have created a …

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Meatly's cultivated chicken for pets approved for sale in the UK, first products to hit shelves this year.

Image courtesy of Meatly

Meatly’s Cultivated Chicken for Pets Approved for Sale in the UK, First Products to Hit Shelves This Year

The UK’s Meatly, previously Good Dog Food, announces that it has received regulatory clearance from relevant UK Government departments to produce and sell cultivated meat for pet food, making it the first company in the country to obtain such authorization. The company explains that its cultivated chicken has undergone extensive testing and has been confirmed free from bacteria, viruses, GMOs, antibiotics, harmful pathogens, heavy metals, and other impurities. Its production facility has also been approved to produce and handle its cultivated chicken. Meatly has successfully developed and manufactured the UK’s first cultivated chicken product for cats, Omni Feast, with its first commercial partner, the plant-based pet food company Omni. With this approval, the first samples will be launched in the UK later this year, making …

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Mycorena's product portfolio

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Mycorena Files for Bankruptcy, Seeks New Ownership to Continue Pioneering Mycoprotein Ingredients

In a sad turn of events, Sweden’s Mycorena, a producer of mycoprotein, has filed for bankruptcy after facing significant financial challenges. The company says it made considerable efforts to overcome these difficulties, including pausing the construction of a large-scale facility and pivoting to a strategic business model. The mycoprotein pioneer also announced that it aims to restructure under new ownership to preserve and build upon its innovations and market presence. According to the leadership statements, there’s optimism that the company can overcome its current challenges and continue its trajectory as a leader in the mycoprotein market. CEO and founder Ramkumar Nair states: “This was not an easy decision, but we believe it is a necessary step to restructure our business and protect the value that …

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Cultivated pork sausages

Image courtesy of Meatable

Survey Finds EU Consumers Support Safe Cultivated Meat, Want the Freedom to Choose

A new survey on attitudes toward cultivated meat in Europe commissioned by the Good Food Institute Europe reveals that people across the continent believe consumers should be able to decide whether to eat or not cultivated meat after EU regulators deem it safe for consumption. The survey carried out by YouGov and touted as one of the largest “of its kind” ever conducted, polled over 16,000 consumers across 15 European countries: Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, and Sweden. Meanwhile, a separate poll focused on Austrian and German consumers. The findings show that participants in 13 countries favour its introduction into the market. For example, 69% in Portugal, 65% in Germany, 63% in both Austria (where agriculture …

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Rich Dillon, CEO Ivy Farm

Rich Dillon © Ivy Farm

Op Ed: Rich Dillon, CEO, Ivy Farm – What We Need From the New Labour Government

In the UK, a Labour government is now in power for the first time in 14 years. Change is on the horizon in terms of food policy and approvals in the country, which has just recorded its first decrease in meat production in over a decade, and where experts predict a radical dietary shift over the next 30 years. “From lab-grown meat to vertical farming, the future of food is set to revolutionise how we eat,” said Bob Doherty, Director of FixOurFood and Dean of the School for Business and Society at the University of York. UK-based Ivy Farm, positioning itself as “leading the UK’s cultivated meat revolution”, anticipates upcoming regulatory approval in the UK and expects its cultivated sausage meat to be available to …

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Governor JB Pritzker of llinois

Governor JB Pritzker ©illinois.gov

$51 Million Federal Grant for Precision Fermentation Hub to Drive Innovation, Growth, and Job Creation in Illinois

The Illinois Fermentation and Agriculture Biomanufacturing (iFAB) Tech Hub has secured approximately $51 million in federal funding from the US Economic Development Administration (EDA) as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Tech Hubs Program. The grant, which will support significant infrastructure expansions, aims to position Central Illinois as a global leader in biomanufacturing, promoting economic growth, job creation, and national security. The iFAB is supported by Innovate Illinois, a strategic initiative by Governor JB Pritzker and co-chaired by the University of Illinois Chancellor Robert J. Jones. Led by the Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory (IBRL) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, it has secured over $680 million in cash match and strategic investments, demonstrating robust backing from multiple stakeholders. Governor JB Pritzker said, “Thanks to this $51 …

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GALY banner

© GALY

Inditex, Owner of Fashion House Zara, Invests in GALY’s Cultivated Cotton from Plant Cells

Spanish multinational clothing company Inditex, owner of Zara and Massimo Dutti, among other fashion brands, has announced a minority stake investment (the sum has not been disclosed) in GALY, a Brazilian and US biotech producing cultivated cotton from plant cells. GALY was founded in 2019 by Luciano Bueno, a former Deloitte executive. The startup has raised over $33.5 million from notable investors such as Sam Altman, former president of Y Combinator and current CEO of OpenAI, John Doerr from VC Kleiner Perkins, and investment funds such as Material Impact, Agronomics, and Brinc. According to Reuters, Inditex CEO Oscar Garcia Maceiras says the move aligns with the company’s goal of using 25% new-generation materials by 2030. Inditex has already invested in the sustainable material companies Findland’s Infinite …

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mosa-meat-steak-tartare

Cultivated Steak Tartare ©Mosa Meat

Hungarian Council Presidency Tells EU That Novel Foods Are a Threat to European Food Traditions

The Hungarian Council Presidency has invited EU agriculture ministers to discuss the impact of novel foods such as cultivated meat and plant-based foods on European food traditions. According to Euractiv, the presidency sent a note to EU delegations saying that meat and dairy consumption is an important part of the “European way of life”, implying that plant-based or cultivated alternatives could pose a threat to European culture. The note also claimed that many Europeans are not enthusiastic about novel foods, despite increases in plant-based food consumption. The subject will be discussed by ministers over lunch at the Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting next week. It comes amid a controversial start to Hungary’s turn at holding the EU council presidency, which rotates every six months. With …

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Cultivated seafood startup Umami Bioworks and India’s IKP Knowledge Park, a premium Science Park and Incubator India, have announced a partnership to accelerate the production of cultivated seafood.

© IKP Knowledge Park

Cultivated Seafood Pioneer UMAMI Bioworks Sets Foot in India with IKP Partnership

Cultivated seafood startup UMAMI Bioworks, (previously Umami Meats) has announced a partnership with India’s premium Science Park and Incubator, IKP Knowledge Park, to accelerate the production of cultivated seafood. IKP has recently established the Centre for Smart Protein and Sustainable Material Innovation in Bangalore, which facilitates core R&D, innovation, collaboration, and knowledge exchange for the smart protein sector. At the centre, UMAMI Bioworks’ team in India will lead the engineering and validation of the company’s plug-and-play manufacturing hardware, supporting tech transfer from their demonstration line to customer sites. Deepanwita Chattopadhyay, Chairman and CEO of IKP Knowledge Park, welcomed UMAMI Bioworks and expressed excitement about the novel technology platform it brings to the smart protein ecosystem. She shared, “This collaboration will not only accelerate Umami’s growth …

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Meatable, a Dutch producer of cell-based pork meat, has become the first company to hold an officially approved cultivated meat tasting in the European Union and the first in the Netherlands.

Image courtesy of Meatable © Bart Maat

Austrian Agriculture Officials to Use Negative Survey Results to Advocate Against Cultivated Meat

A study commissioned by Austria’s Chamber of Agriculture and Forestry in Carinthia (a southern region in the Alps and and least densely populated state), found that 90% of respondents are unwilling to eat cultivated meat regularly, 72% expressed health risk concerns, and 82% even want to ban the technology. The survey questioned over 800 people aged 16 and older, and, according to Deputy Governor Martin Gruber (ÖVP), participants were informed neutrally and objectively about the production process before being asked whether they would consume “lab-grown” meat. “This vehement rejection is a confirmation of our fight against laboratory meat, plain and simple. It’s about preventing this fake meat on the EU market,” Gruber told local media. Siegfried Huber, President of the Carinthia Chamber of Agriculture, said, …

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Foray Bioscience banner

© Foray Bioscience

Foray Bioscience Raises $3M to Restore Forests With Plant Cell Culture Tech

Boston-based Foray Bioscience, a startup leveraging plant cell culture to restore forests and, thus, secure plant supply chains, has raised $3 million in seed funding led by the Australian VC ReGen Ventures. Other participants, including Engine Ventures, Susquehanna Sustainable Investments, Understorey, Superorganism, and additional investors, backed the biotech in this round, bringing its total to $3.875 million. With a background in plant-based materials research from MIT and Draper Laboratory, Dr. Ashley Beckwith (CEO) founded Foray Bioscience in 2022 to build biomanufacturing tools to protect and restore the natural ecosystem. Beckwith says that nearly 40% of assessed plant species face extinction and points out that more than 16 million acres of forest, an area larger than West Virginia, were lost worldwide only in 2022. With the new capital, the startup will expand its predictive …

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Solvable Syndicate

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Investment Climate Podcast: Steve Simitzis of Solvable Syndicate – How to Get Funded in 2024

In this podcast series, co-produced by vegconomist, Alex Shandrovsky interviews investors about benchmarks for funding Alt Proteins in 2024 and uncovers the investment playbooks of successful Climate Tech CEOs and leading VCs. Podcast Host Alex Shandrovksy is a strategic advisor to numerous global food tech accelerators and companies, including alternative proteins and cellular agriculture leaders. His focus is on investor relations and post-raise scale for agrifood tech companies. Episode 07: Steve Simitzis of Solvable Syndicate  In this episode, Alex talks to Steve Simitzis, Partner of Solvable Syndicate which invests in early-stage food tech startups from pre-seed to Series A, with a focus on companies promoting human and planetary health. Steve explains the benefits of syndicates for both founders and angels, shares insights into the current …

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bluu seafood cultivated salmon served on a black plate with lemon rinds

Bluu Seafood's cultivated sashimi © Bluu GmbH/Wim Jansen

New Food in Europe: CellAgri Portugal to Host Key Conference, Cellular Agriculture Europe Welcomes 12 Members

CellAgri Portugal, the country’s association for the development of cellular agriculture, announces its 2nd International Conference on the 4th and 5th of October at Fórum in Lisbon. The abstract submission deadline for interested collaborators is the 30th of July 2024. The conference aims to bring together leading scientists, entrepreneurs, and industry experts to explore the latest advancements in the field, from cultivated meat and seafood to leather and precision fermentation ingredients. Building on the success of its inaugural edition, CellAgri Portugal has organized a dynamic program featuring a lineup of renowned keynote speakers including: Dr. Sebastian Rakers, co-founder of the German cultivated seafood company BLUU Seafood Dr. Marianne Ellis Bath University’s CARMA – Cellular Agriculture Manufacturing Hub Dr. Elliot Swartz, principal cultivated meat scientist at the …

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Raw potato on color background

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10 Molecular Farming Startups Transforming Everyday Plants into Protein Powerhouses

Today, we bring you a roundup of molecular farming startups transforming plants into biofactories to produce alternatives to animal proteins, pigments, next-gen sweeteners, and growth factors. Plant molecular farming, an additional production approach to plant-based, cultivated, and fermentation, promises unlimited and cost-effective ingredients for food and other industries. Since it doesn’t require expensive infrastructure and bioreactors — only the magic of plants and bioengineering —  existing greenhouses and fields can become ingredient factories, ensuring a straightforward industrial scale-up and competitive prices. Each of the following startups has chosen a plant as its production facility: 1. VelozBio, Mexico: Discarded  fruits VelozBio, a startup based in Monterrey founded in 2020,  claims to have developed the world’s fastest protein design and development platform. VelozBio produces high-value proteins, including casein, by expressing target …

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CULT Food Science

© CULT Food Science

CULT Food Science Pens Open Letter to Florida Government Opposing Cultivated Meat Ban

Cellular agriculture investment firm CULT Food Science Corp. has published an open letter to the Florida Government expressing the company’s opposition to the state’s ban on the sales of cultivated meat. “The notion that this meat is fake or unhealthy is simply wrong,” urges the letter. This May, Governor Ron DeSantis made Florida the first US state to impose a ban on cell-cultivated meat, with the signing of Senate Bill 1084, declaring: “We’re fighting back against an ideology that ultimately wants to eliminate meat production in the US and around the globe. In the State of Florida, we’ve put down the marker very clearly: we stand with agriculture.” He added, “Take your fake lab-grown meat elsewhere. We’re not doing that in the state of Florida.” …

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