Hangzhou-based company Jimi Biotech claims it has successfully developed China’s first 100% cultivated chicken, made without using plant scaffolding.
“We believe that some of the world’s leading cultivated meat enterprises will be Chinese enterprises”
Jimi has also announced a new round of funding, invested exclusively by Shiwei Capital. The news comes just three months after the company secured funds in an angel round, after unveiling China’s first cultivated beef product.
Jimi Evolution System
Weichang Jiang, a partner at Shiwei Capital, said: “Although only three months have passed since the last round of funding, Jimi Biotech has still made significant technological breakthroughs. In addition to the rapid progress in core areas such as cell lines and culture media, we believe that Jimi Biotech’s deep integration of automation and AI into the research and development also reflects the founder’s emphasis on continuously improving research and development efficiency.”
This new financing round will be used for R&D and the construction of a small pilot plant to implement the company’s recent achievements: reducing growth media costs and building an R&D platform. Called JEVOS, the latter is an automated, high-throughput, AI-driven cell evolution platform.
Jimi says it has already achieved significant cost control with its culture medium, reducing the price to around 100 yuan — a drastic reduction of 97% from the market price. This milestone paves the way for cheaper cultivated meat, which has been named as a key industry for future food manufacturing in China’s latest five-year agricultural plan.
100% cultivated meat
Many cultivated meat prototypes combine plant scaffolds with animal cells. Zhehou Cao, Jimi’s CEO, believes that cultivated meat products containing plant scaffolding cannot convince meat-loving consumers. He argues that 100% cell-based meat is closer to the taste and nutrition of traditional slaughter meat, and will be more easily accepted by consumers.
To develop Jimi’s 100% cultivated prototype, cells from young roosters were used to grow the meat using the company’s technology. After a sensory evaluation, the product had minimal color, smell, and taste differences compared to traditional slaughtered chicken, demonstrating the feasibility of pure animal cell products without plant scaffolding.
The final product can be cooked in various ways, including steaming, frying, and boiling. According to Jimi, it successfully attempts to overcome the industry’s challenges involving taste and texture.
“China has the largest market for meat and a well-established supply chain system, so we believe that some of the world’s leading cultivated meat enterprises will be Chinese enterprises. With the attention of the regulatory agency, the industry is about to enter an important turning point in China,” Weichang Jiang added.