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Korea’s CJ CheilJedang Partners With T&R Biofab to Develop Bioprinted Alt Meats

Two Korean companies — food producer CJ CheilJedang Corp. and biomedical company T&R Biofab — have announced that they will be collaborating to develop bioprinted alt meats.

Through the new partnership, the companies will investigate the potential of T&R Biofab’s advanced 3D bioprinting technology — currently used to engineer tissues for medical purposes — to produce meat alternatives with a better taste and texture than conventional plant-based meats.

“We are thrilled to work with the global food giant CJ CheilJedang to redefine the future of alternative meat,” said T&R Biofab on LinkedIn. “Here at T&R, we are grateful that the technologies and solutions we tirelessly develop for the healthcare industry continue to inspire and drive progress across other industries, including the food sector, in advancing sustainability.”

PlanTable dumplings
© CJ CheilJedang Corp.

“Global megatrend”

CJ CheilJedang is increasingly expanding into the alternative protein sector, launching a plant-based dumpling brand called PlanTable in late 2021. Last year, the company began exporting the dumplings to 30 countries worldwide (including the US, Germany, Australia, and India), after selling three million units in just ten months.

Additionally, CJ CheilJedang has invested in numerous alt protein companies, including animal-free cheese producer New Culture, duckweed protein ingredients developer Plantible Foods, and alt seafood company Aqua Cultured Foods. CJ CheilJedang is also a member of the consortium Skyviews Life Science, which invested in cultivated meat company Aleph Farms in 2021.

Last year, CJ CheilJedang announced that it viewed plant-based foods as a “growth engine” with the potential to make $151.9 million in sales by 2025. The company said it expected 70% of these sales to come from outside Korea.

“As these three trends — health and wellness, sustainability, and animal welfare — merge together, plant-based is becoming a global megatrend. We project the global plant-based food market to grow up to 35 trillion won in the next ten years,” said Jung Hyun-hak, head of CJ CheilJedang’s plant-based food business, at a press conference.

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