Science

World's first lab-grown-meat factory opens in Israel

World's first lab-grown-meat f...
Future Meat Technologies says it is the only company to be able to produce lab-grown chicken breasts at $3.90 a pop
Future Meat Technologies says it is the only company to be able to produce lab-grown chicken breasts at $3.90 a pop
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Future Meat Technologies says it is the only company to be able to produce lab-grown chicken breasts at $3.90 a pop
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Future Meat Technologies says it is the only company to be able to produce lab-grown chicken breasts at $3.90 a pop
Future Meat Technologies has opened a production facility for lab-grown meat in Rehovot, Israel
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Future Meat Technologies has opened a production facility for lab-grown meat in Rehovot, Israel

From Singapore to the International Space Station, we're starting to see how cultured, or lab-grown, meat might soon make its way out of the lab and into everyday diets, and a newly opened factory in Israel should do plenty to help things along. Billed as the world's first industrial production facility for cultured meat, local company Future Meat Technologies sees it as a key stepping stone in efforts to scale up its operations.

The technology behind lab-grown meat has come along in leaps and bounds in recent times, progressing from early "soggy forms of pork" produced around a decade ago, to complex, thick-cut rib-eye steaks in 2021. Most follow one of two methodologies, either using plant products as their starting point, like the beef and pork offered by startup Impossible Foods, or beginning with real cells harvested from live animals.

These cells are nurtured carefully in bioreactors and fed the same nutrients as the living animals, enabling the cells to grow and multiply until they develop into edible cuts of meat. The many startups racing to commercialize this technology all vary slightly in their approaches, but all hope to provide a solution to the environmental and ethical issues that cloud modern meat production.

Future Meat Technologies falls in this latter group, turning animal cells into edible portions using its own proprietary method. This involves no genetic modification and includes what the company calls a "media rejuvenation process," which removes waste products more efficiently and apparently leads to yields 10 times higher than the industry standard. It says its process also generates 80 percent less greenhouse gas emissions, uses 99 percent less land and 96 percent less freshwater than typical meat production.

Future Meat Technologies has opened a production facility for lab-grown meat in Rehovot, Israel
Future Meat Technologies has opened a production facility for lab-grown meat in Rehovot, Israel

The company will put this technique to the test on its largest scale yet, cutting the ribbon on its new cultured meat facility in the Israeli city of Rehovot. The factory will have the capacity to produce 500 kg (1,100 lb) of cultured chicken, pork and lamb each day, which is equivalent to around 5,000 burgers, and the company says beef products are on the way. For reference, about 4.7 lb (2.1 kg) of meat is harvested from each chicken in the US, so the facility's daily output is equal to around 250 chickens.

The first lab-grown burgers cost more than US$300,000 apiece to produce back in 2013. Bit by bit, however, we're seeing progress in driving these costs down to the point where mainstream outfits like KFC are getting in on the action. Future Meat Technologies says it is the only company to be able to produce cultured chicken breasts for $3.90 a pop and, as it continues to scale up its operations, it expects those costs to fall even further.

"After demonstrating that cultured meat can reach cost parity faster than the market anticipated, this production facility is the real game-changer," says Yaakov Nahmias, founder and chief scientific officer of Future Meat Technologies. "This facility demonstrates our proprietary media rejuvenation technology in scale, allowing us to reach production densities 10-times higher than the industrial standard. Our goal is to make cultured meat affordable for everyone, while ensuring we produce delicious food that is both healthy and sustainable, helping to secure the future of coming generations."

Source: Future Meat Technologies via PRNewswire

6 comments
6 comments
Worzel
Animals collect a wide variety of trace elements in their widespread browsing. I'd be interested to see a list of ''nutrients'' that are inserted into fake meat, to compare the claimed nutritional values.
A lot of 'factory farmed' animal products are already seriously deficient in trace elements, so seems like this might be just one more step for the worse.
windykites
Amazing speed of production! How long for a chicken to grow? Months! No mention of texture and taste in the article. Both important features.
Is the product actually alive at some point?
Nelson Hyde Chick
I am looking forward to the day I can eat meat and not feel quality, especially pork because pigs are the smartest of the animals we consume.
tony
How did they solve the fetal bovine serum issue? Or are they killing cows to make growth serum to make meat?
jordaajo
This is an effort of Big Tech to monopolize meat production. Eventually beef producers (farmers) will be prevented by law to produce beef. This meat will be so toxic that you won't want to eat it. Done the right way beef production on natural grazing with real cows is one of very few avenues open to us to reduce atmospheric co2. Watch this video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpTHi7O66pI Where people apply these principles they see fantastic results. The problem comes with large feedlots where cattle are fed unnatural food. That is what produces these greenhouse gasses. On natural grazing this does not happen - but that we are never told.
Nicky Thomas
Considering 'factory farmed' animals are living in very unnatural conditions which causes an increase in pathogens and infections, which are
"treated" (and not with "nutrients"), along with the reduction of land use, water use and emissions, I am sure this is not a step for the worse, but a leap towards the much, much better.