Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

60% of US Consumers Open to Cultivated Chicken, Beef, & Pork Despite Taste and Health Doubts, Finds Survey

A Consumer Food Insights survey, used by Purdue University to track consumer perceptions of cultivated meat, has found that around 60% of consumers are willing to try cultivated beef, chicken, and pork in restaurants, while around 30% are unwilling. 1,200 of the consumers surveyed were presented with a list including familiar animals, such as chicken, cow, and pig, as well as several exotic creatures. They were asked to group the animals based on their willingness to try conventional and cultivated meat cuts in a professional restaurant setting, classifying them as either ‘willing to try’ or ‘not willing to try.’ Conventional vs cultivated From all the animals listed, consumers were shown to be more willing to eat the animal-derived meat than cultivated meat, even in the case of exotic animals. The most …

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(L) Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir, Minister of Education, Industry, and Innovation and Bjarkey Olsen Gunnarsdóttir, Minister of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries - Image provided

Cultivated Meat

Icelandic Ministers Taste Ivy Farm’s Cultivated Beef During Iceland Innovation Week

The UK-based cultivated meat company Ivy Farm Technologies and the Icelandic biotechnology company ORF Genetics held a cultivated meat tasting and panel discussions at an event last week during Iceland Innovation Week. The tasting featured cultivated meatballs made with Angus beef cells prepared by Chef Ólafur Örn Ólafsson, owner and chef of the restaurant Brút in Reykjavík. According to the announcement, many stakeholders from the food and technology industries attended the event, including Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir, Minister of Education, Industry, and Innovation, and Bjarkey Olsen Gunnarsdóttir, Minister of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries.  Sigurbjörnsdóttir commented: “It is very exciting to see the developments in cultivated meat production globally and it is particularly enjoyable to see an Icelandic company, ORF Genetics, taking part in this. Iceland Innovation Week has been very diverse, and getting to taste meat from Ivy Farm was a …

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The UK's Ivy Farm Technologies announces it has signed a manufacturing agreement with Synbio Powerlabs Oy, the Finnish leader in synthetic biology, to produce its cultivated meat products at a large scale.

Image courtesy of Ivy Farm

Cultivated Meat

Ivy Farm Partners with Synbio Powerlabs to Cultivate Meat At “Unprecedented” Scale

UK-based Ivy Farm Technologies announces it has signed a manufacturing agreement with Synbio Powerlabs, a Finnish leader in synthetic biology, to produce its cultivated meat products in large fermenters. According to Synbio Powerlabs, cultivated meat will be produced on an unprecedented scale in Finland. The Finnish firm is converting a sizeable food-grade facility into a fermentation hub supported by a €2.99 million grant from the Finnish government. Expected to be operational by early 2025, the facility will include production scales at 10,000 and 27,000 L and six 250,000 L manufacturing vessels. Once opened, it will be the largest facility of its kind in the world, according to the announcement. Gaining access to Synbio Powerlabs’ expertise and facilities, Ivy Farms will scale up its cultivated meat production to …

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Vegan Whole Cut Steak

©Chunk Foods/ The Butcher's Daughter

Sustainability / Environment

Study Finds Plant-Based Beef Significantly More Sustainable Than Traditional Beef

A research team from Macquarie University in Australia has conducted a comparative study analyzing papers from various countries on the sustainability and nutrition of beef versus plant-based beef, revealing some interesting results. Plant-based beef was found to significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions, with reductions ranging from 86% to 97% in various studies. Plant-based beef also requires less land, estimated to be less than 5%.  “Roughly 75 % of global agricultural land is for animal production while animal-based foods provide only 18 % human calories and 25 % protein in global good supply,” states the paper. The new research also shows that plant-based beef, particularly burgers, generally have lower energy and saturated fat content but lower levels of protein compared to beef. Emission sources Cattle contribute to emissions primarily …

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Steakholder Foods and Wyler Farms, Israel's leading tofu producer, have partnered to produce 3D printed plant-based beef steaks.

© Steakholder Foods

Printed Technology

Steakholder Foods and Wyler Farms Partner to Launch 3D Printed Plant-Based Beef Steaks at Industrial Scale

Israeli bioprinting technology expert Steakholder Foods (Nasdaq: STKH) and Wyler Farms, Israel’s leading tofu producer, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to use industrial-scale 3D printing technology to produce 3D printed plant-based beef steaks. As part of the agreement, Wyler Farms will acquire Steakholder Foods’ 3D Fusion Pro meat printer and a subscription to the SH Software and NutriBlend ink designed explicitly for plant-based meat.  The deal, valued at millions of dollars over the coming years, represents Steakholder Foods’ first commercial partnership in the private sector. The completion of the Fusion Pro 3D printer installation is anticipated to fall between Q4 2024 and Q1 2025, according to the announcement. Arik Kaufman, CEO of Steakholder Foods, comments: “We’re not just showcasing our technology’s potential – we’re …

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Aleph Farms has received regulatory approval from Israel's Ministry of Health to sell its cultivated beef to the public.

© Aleph Farms

Cultivated Meat

Aleph Farms Receives World’s First Approval for Cultivated Beef, Petit Steak to Hit Israeli Restaurants Soon

Aleph Farms, a pioneer in Israel’s cultivated meat industry, announces regulatory approval from Israel’s Ministry of Health (MoH) through a “No Questions” letter, allowing the company to sell its cultivated beef to the public. This approval marks the world’s first approval for cultivated beef and positions Israel as the third country to approve cultivated meat products — after Singapore and the USA’s approval for cultivated chicken.  It is also the first green light for cultivated meat in the Middle East. “2024 stands to be a landmark year for the advancement of regulatory pathways and commercialization of cultivated meat. With this historic regulatory approval, Israel’s Ministry of Health (MoH) has firmly cemented its leadership position in introducing world-changing innovation in a way that builds trust with consumers,” said …

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BENEO unveils innovations in plant-based beef alternatives

Image courtesy of BENEO

Ingredients

BENEO Unveils New Range of Semi-Finished Plant-Based Products for Beef Alternatives

German ingredients manufacturer BENEO has unveiled two new semi-finished plant-based products for beef alternatives: Beef Bites and Minced Meat. The semi-finished products, which are easy-to-process inputs that have undergone some processing, offer manufacturers an easy solution to create “juicy and meaty” alternatives to beef. They have been developed with a blend of pea and mycoprotein by Meatless BV, a Dutch producer of texturized plant proteins that was acquired by BENEO in 2022. The new range will launch at the beginning of 2024; however, the company is offering Fi Europe  2023(currently ongoing) participants the opportunity to taste the products in plant-based dishes prepared by Culinary Chef Jelbrich Hendrickx from the BENEO-Technology Center. Niels E. Hower of BENEO’s Executive Board shared: “Due to the high consumer interest, we made the decision …

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Biotech SeaWith and Icelandic molecular farming company ORF Genetics are partnering to accelerate SeaWith's production of cultivated meat.

© ORF Genetics

Company News

SeaWith Partners with ORF Genetics to Produce Han-Woo Cultivated Beef with Plant-Based Growth Factors

South Korean biotech SeaWith and Icelandic molecular farming company ORF Genetics are partnering to accelerate the production of cultivated meat with plant-based growth factors. SeaWith is preparing to scale its cultivated meat platform to introduce Han-Woo cultivated beef products (a breed of small cattle native to Korea) under the “Welldone” brand to the market by 2025.  The collaboration, outlined in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), will secure SeaWith a stable supply of ORF Genetics’s animal-free growth factors to develop sustainable meat at lower costs. The MoU also highlights plans for further joint R&D initiatives of growth factors for cultivated meat production. Growth factors made from barley ORF Genetics, which produces animal-free growth factors with proteins grown in barley using molecular farming, aims to reinforce the company’s position in the rapidly …

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Cultivated meatballs

Image credit: Omeat

Cultivated Meat

Omeat Develops Slaughter-Free FBS Alternative From Bovine-Plasma

Omeat is a cultivated meat company established in Los Angeles, California, founded by world-renowned tissue engineer and former MIT and Harvard professor Dr. Ali Khademhosseini. The company aims to grow “delicious real meat” from animal cells but without the environmental impact of traditional farming. After years of working behind the scenes, Omeat revealed an alternative to fetal bovine serum (FBS) made with the bovine plasma of healthy cows. FBS is an ethically controversial and expensive cell nutrient media used by multiple industries.  In 2022, Omeat’s approach gained the interest of investors, raising $40 million from S2G Ventures, Google Ventures (GV), Bold Capital Partners, Tyson Ventures (the venture capital arm of Tyson Foods, Inc.), Rethink Food, Trailhead Capital, and Cavallo Ventures.  Currently, Omeat is focused on cultivating beef. The company …

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Cultivated meatballs

Image credit: Omeat

Cultivated Meat

Omeat Develops Slaughter-Free FBS Alternative From Bovine-Plasma

Omeat is a cultivated meat company established in Los Angeles, California, founded by world-renowned tissue engineer and former MIT and Harvard professor Dr. Ali Khademhosseini. The company aims to grow “delicious real meat” from animal cells but without the environmental impact of traditional farming. After years of working behind the scenes, Omeat revealed an alternative to fetal bovine serum (FBS) made with the bovine plasma of healthy cows. FBS is an ethically controversial and expensive cell nutrient media used by multiple industries.  In 2022, Omeat’s approach gained the interest of investors, raising $40 million from S2G Ventures, Google Ventures (GV), Bold Capital Partners, Tyson Ventures (the venture capital arm of Tyson Foods, Inc.), Rethink Food, Trailhead Capital, and Cavallo Ventures.  Currently, Omeat is focused on cultivating beef. The company …

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StrEATS Kitchens Plant-Based Beef Taco with Waygu

©StrEATS Kitchen

Food Service

Wamame’s Waygu Plant-Based Beef Now Available at All StrEATS Kitchens in Canada

Wamame Foods announces it is partnering with Canadian fast-casual chain StrEATS Kitchens to launch plant-based Waygu beef strips at all locations. Customers across British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan can now order Wamame’s premium plant-based beef in any dish, including tacos, burritos, bowls and sandwiches. Operating 21 locations across Western Canada, StrEATS Kitchens serves a diverse menu of globally inspired street cuisine that focuses on healthy ingredients. The chain is known for its innovative options and regularly rotates its menu based on current street food trends. The collaboration is the latest restaurant partnership for Wamame, which also recently launched Waygu beef at one of Canada’s largest pizza chains, Panago Pizza. At Panago, the beef strips are featured on two specialty pizzas – the Kansas BBQ Pizza …

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Impossible Indulgent Plant-Based Patties

©Impossible Foods

Products & Launches

Impossible Foods Launches the Indulgent Burger as Its Boldest, Most Decadent Patty Yet

Impossible Foods is expanding its portfolio with the brand’s “boldest” burger yet – the Impossible Indulgent Burger. Created as a premium version of the original Impossible burger patty, Impossible states that the Indulgent Burger is thicker and offers a more gourmet flavor. The burger will launch this summer at select US restaurants, including Bareburger and Monty’s Good Burger, followed by select retailers.  According to Impossible Foods, the Indulgent Burger was developed using a taste-first approach. Each third-pound, restaurant-style patty offers a more beefy flavor with “maximum flavor and juiciness” that can be cooked on the stovetop or grill. In a blind taste test, the company reports 82% of consumers said the product tasted as good as or better than ground beef from cows. Innovating beef …

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Chopstix Noodle Bar

© Chopstix Noodle Bar

Food Service

Chopstix Noodle Bar Launches Vegan Beef Stir Fry in Partnership With Miami Foods

UK chain Chopstix Noodle Bar has launched a new topping, Plant Based ‘Beef’ Stir-Fry, at selected stores. The menu option consists of plant-based beef strips, peppers, onions, chillies, garlic, and Chopstix’s Top Secret Stir Fry Sauce. It can be paired with a starchy base such as noodles, or another vegetable-based dish. Initially, the topping will be available at six Chopstix locations — Manchester, Trafford, Peterborough Extra Services, and three London restaurants (Westfield, Lewisham, and Oxford Street). It will roll out nationwide over the coming months. Chopstix Noodle Bar first launched at London’s Camden Market 20 years ago, and now has over 90 stores nationwide. The chain introduced its first vegan option, Green Thai Tofu Curry, in 2019 following significant consumer demand. Miami Foods The plant-based …

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APPETEX Plant-Based Burger Texture

©Motif FoodWorks

Meat- and Fish Alternatives

Motif FoodWorks Announces First Consumer Launch of Motif BeefWorks™ Burger Patties Featuring APPETEX

Boston-based Motif FoodWorks announces it has launched its second food technology ingredient, APPETEX™, for large-scale commercial distribution. Described as a “breakthrough” ingredient, APPETEX is said to enhance the texture of plant-based foods by providing the unique springy and juicy chew found in animal meat products.  To enable consumers to taste the benefits of APPETEX, Motif will offer its first finished products, Motif BeefWorks™ Plant-Based Burger Patties, to consumers beginning in April.  According to Motif, APPETEX (a combination of “appetite” and “texture”) is an edible plant-based  hydrogel that is capable of recreating the bite associated with animal connective tissue. While plant-based proteins like texturized soy or pea protein can mimic the fibrous structure of meat, Motif says, these ingredients fall short in creating the springy “chewdown” …

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Impossible Beef Lite

© Impossible Foods

Products & Launches

Impossible Foods Launches Beef Lite With 45% Less Fat Than Lean Animal Beef

Impossible Foods has introduced Beef Lite, a leaner version of its plant-based beef alternative that is designed to be “better than lean ground animal beef”. Containing 21 grams of protein, Beef Lite has 75% less saturated fat and 45% less total fat than 90/10 lean beef from cows. It is a good source of fibre and is free of cholesterol and trans fats. According to Impossible, the beef alternative cooks and tastes like ground animal beef and is ideal for use in dishes such as tacos, chilis, stir-fries, and lasagna. The product is already rolling out in the fresh meat aisle at selected retailers. Competing with beef Impossible’s original plant-based beef is now the best-selling product in the entire US plant-based meat category. The company …

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List of the best plant-based steak products in North America

© Juicy Marbles

Food & Beverage

The 9 Most Incredible Brands Disrupting Steak with Plants (North America)

While plant-based burgers, sausages and meatballs have long dominated the alt-meat landscape, creating realistic steak from plants has always represented the highest, if seemingly unattainable goal, for many brands. But thanks to fearless and relentless innovation, a host of shockingly meaty and juicy plant-based steaks have arrived on the US and Canadian market, and are rapidly coming to the fore. Here, vegconomist takes a look at the most noteworthy names bringing animal-free steak to mainstream consumers.  1. Beyond Meat  While not a fully structured filet, Beyond’s “revolutionary” plant-based steak tips marked a major milestone for the company, which previously only offered ground-textured products like burgers and sausages. According to CEO Ethan Brown, Beyond Steak took five years of extensive R&D to develop. The product can …

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Impossible Burger at Applebee's

© Impossible Foods

Company News

Impossible Foods to Cut 20% of Staff, Plans to Launch Major Marketing Campaign in ’23

Impossible Foods is reportedly planning to reduce its workforce by one-fifth as the company contends with a difficult economic environment, as well as an overall slowdown of the plant-based category.  According to Bloomberg, the California-based company employs about 700 workers, which could lead to the layoff of over 130 employees. A source also revealed the company offered employees “voluntary separation payments and benefits” at the end of 2022.  Last fall, Impossible cut 6% of its workforce (about 50 employees) – at the time, CEO Peter McGuinness said the cuts were necessary to help the company re-organize in order to focus on future growth. With the latest round of layoffs, Impossible joins a growing list of companies, along with Beyond Meat, that have been forced to reduce …

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7-Eleven Waygu Steak Wrap

Southwestern Plant-Based Steak Wrap ©7-Eleven Canada

Products & Launches

Wamame’s ‘Waygu’ Beef Launches in 7-Eleven Canada Plant-Based Steak Wraps

Canada’s Wamame Foods announces it is launching its ultra-premium Waygu™ plant-based meat strips in 7-Eleven Canada locations nationwide. Now available for a limited time, Waygu is featured in several items on the chain’s “ready-to-serve” menu, including the Southwestern Plant-Based Steak Wrap and Mexican Plant-Based Steak Wrap. According to Wamame, its products were chosen as 7-Eleven Canada’s top choice to help drive the chain’s mandate to offer more “ready-to-serve” vegan and sustainable options. Wamame states it worked directly with 7-Eleven Canada for six months to develop the new offerings.  Every 7-Eleven across Canada “We are excited that Wamame products are now available in every 7-Eleven location across Canada,” says Mr. Jarrett Malnarich, CEO of Wamame Foods Inc. “Being able to develop, launch and support 7-Eleven Canada’s …

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Sherene Jagla

©Impossible Foods

Company News

Impossible Foods Appoints Sherene Jagla as Chief Demand Officer, Reports 50% Retail Growth in 2022

Impossible Foods announces it has hired CPG industry leader Sherene Jagla as its first-ever Chief Demand Officer. In her new role, Jagla will integrate Impossible’s sales, marketing, insights and product development teams as the company prepares for its next phase of growth.  In addition, Impossible reports it achieved record growth in 2022, and continues to rank as the fastest-growing plant-based meat brand in US retail. Jagla joins Impossible with over 25 years of sales, marketing, and management experience at Fortune 500 companies in the CPG and food and beverage industries. Most recently, Jagla served as the Senior Vice President and General Manager at Newell Brands, where she oversaw a $2 billion business across 50 brands in 18 categories.  Previously, Jagla has also held senior leadership …

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Beyond Steak plant-based steak

©Beyond Meat

Products & Launches

Beyond Meat Expands Beyond Steak and Popcorn Chicken to Costco and Sam’s Club

Beyond Meat announces its popular Beyond Steak and Popcorn Chicken are expanding to wholesale retailers Costco and Sam’s Club.  As of January 4th, Beyond Steak can be found at over 50 Costco locations in Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado and Southern California, while the Popcorn Chicken is now available at all US Sam’s Club stores. The launch means consumers can now purchase both products in bulk quantities, with Beyond Steak and Popcorn Chicken offered in 28 oz. and 30 oz. packages, respectively.  “Better-for-you” proteins Beyond Steak, which debuted in October, features chopped plant-based tips that caramelize and crisp when seared. Each serving offers 21 grams of plant protein, is low in saturated fat and contains zero cholesterol.  In 2022, TIME Magazine recognized Beyond Steak as …

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