Chinese cultivated meat company CellX announces it has been selected among the six finalists (out of 353 participants) of the XPRIZE Feed the Next Billion (FTNB) competition to develop alternative proteins.
FTNB, established in 2020, encourages startups to develop alternative chicken breast or fish filet products that surpass conventional meat in terms of nutrition, taste, and texture. Moreover, these products must be affordable and promote environmental sustainability and animal welfare.
© XPRIZE Foundation
Six breakthroughs in food tech
A judging panel of diverse experts in international sustainability, agricultural and biological engineering, the food industry, and experts working at the highest levels of academia and research selected the finalist, explains XPRIZE.
The following teams will compete for the final prize of $12 million in 2024:
- Revo Foods: Plant-based fish from Austria
- Eternal: Fermentation-derived chicken from Argentina
- The PlantEat: Plant-based chicken from South Korea
- ProFillet: Plant-based fish Canada
- TFTAK: Plant-based fish team from Estonia
- CellX: Cell-based chicken team from China
Peter Diamandis, executive chairman of the board of XPRIZE, said: “Exponential technologies are giving humanity the ability to reinvent how we feed the world. Today 9 million people die from hunger every year, and 25% of humanity isn’t receiving adequate nutrients.
“Breakthroughs in food technology will allow us to feed a growing world of 8+ billion people with cheaper, better tasting, and higher quality protein.”
CellX at the semifinal tastings
The Chinese startup presented its cultivated chicken breast at the semifinal tastings in Abu Dhabi.
CellX recounts: “After a simple oil frying, the fresh aroma of the chicken was emitted. The judges in the on-site tasting session said, ‘It’s amazing, I’m eating cultivated chicken, which is not so different from the chicken that I usually eat.”
The company explains that its cultivated chicken is grown using a platform that combines fibrous scaffold technology, which allows a meat-like structure and chicken cells for flavor and texture.
Transformation of human beings
Founded in 2020 and based in Shanghai, CellX has raised $15M+ to date and has 40 experts in R&D focusing on building platform technologies with a multi-species approach.
In September 2021, the biotech revealed dishes made with cultivated pork grown with cells from China’s native black pig. In April 2022, CellX partnered with Bluu Seafood to “make cellular agriculture a reality” and advance regulatory approval in Germany and China.
In February, the company announced a strategic agreement with Tofflon to build “China’s first” pilot facility for cultivated meat production.
“We believe that new protein technologies can redefine the production and consumption patterns of food, and promote the transformation of human beings to a more sustainable lifestyle. We all look forward to the day when CellX could bring cultivated meat to consumers in China and around the world,” commented CellX.