🍗 “Cell-Cultivated" now fit for US sale

PLUS: Omeat out of stealth with a $40 million raise.

This week will go down in the history books as a new era for meat as The United States has become the second country to fully approve the sale of cultivated meat.

This monumental approval allows UPSIDE Foods and GOOD Meat to proceed with the commercial production and sales of their cultivated chicken in the US, which according to early reports will be labelled as “cell-cultivated".

Both companies will be manufacturing in their North California facilities, with UPSIDE’s first product expected to be a whole-cut chicken with 99% cells and GOOD Meat opting for a 50-70% blend of chicken cells + plant-based protein/fat.

With US regulatory acceptance now crossed off the to do list, cultivated meat companies can turn their focus to scaling up their production and getting their products into the hands of consumers.

Who know’s, maybe this year’s Christmas roast will look a little different..

This week in Food:

🍗 VFC confirms the acquisition of Meatless Farm.
🐄 Omeat came out of stealth with a $40 million raise.
🌊 Hyfe raises $9 million to build future-proofed feedstocks.

The Digest

Image credit: VFC

📈 What’s up? UK-based vegan fried chicken brand VFC has confirmed the acquisition of Meatless Farm, which last week was on the brink of bankruptcy, in a deal worth £12 million.

📉 What’s down? British kitchen robotics startup Karakuri has appointed administrators after failing to secure further capital.

🐕 Oh dear: A Co-op delivery robot “with a mind of its own” reportedly rammed into a dog walker and his dog in the UK this week.

🇺🇸 The US Department of Agriculture is strengthening standards used to substantiate animal-raising claims such as “raised without antibiotics,” “grass-fed” and “free-range,” among others, and would “strongly encourage” the use of third-party certification to verify the claims.

🎧 Hear from Magic Valley’s Paul Bevan on his journey to make cultivated meat a reality and how it can compete with traditional meat on Another ClimateTech Podcast.

🍖 Check out the footprint of your bbq food vs the charcoal used to cook it.

New in Funding

Omeat founder and CEO Dr Ali Khademhosseini. Image credit: Omeat

🐄 Omeat, based in LA, came out of stealth to announce a $40 million raise and build a pilot plant for its “simple and elegant solution” to scaling cultivated meat production, which involves the humane extraction of growth factors and other components from “healthy, living cows.”

🌱 Plant-based ingredient company COSUCRA, based in Belgium, raised €45 million to reduce its carbon footprint and increase production of its sustainable chicory and pea-based ingredients.

🍫 Dutch confectioner Tony’s Chocoloney raised €20 million from its current shareholders to fuel its rapid expansion across various markets, and to grow Tony’s Open Chain, its B2B platform focused on ethical bean sourcing.

🌾 Guardian Agriculture, based in the US, secured $10 million in a Series A funding round led by Fall Line Capital to expand its autonomous crop protection drone technology to farms across the US and scale manufacturing of its SC1 aircraft.

🌊 Chicago-based Hyfé raised $9 million seed funding in a round led by Synthesis Capital. It transforms food processing wastewater into feedstocks for biomanufacturing and clean water, and will use the funds to progress towards pilot-scale technology demonstration.

🧫 China’s best-funded cellular agriculture startup, CellX, secured $6.5 million Series A+ funding from a collection of strategic investors. It will use the funds to support pilot-scale production of its cultivated meat products.

🥯 LA-based BetterBrand raised $6 million Series A funding, following dramatic retail growth, for its high-protein, ultra-low-carb bagels, whose formulation and production process are trade secrets.

🍄 Adamo Foods, based in the UK, raised £1.5 million to commercialise its whole-cut mycelium-based steaks. It says it has discovered a technique to grow mycelium into long, dense fibres that form the texture analogous to the “grain” of a steak or chicken fillet, and is seeking to attract both vegans and traditional meat consumers.

🔎 Berlin-based COOKO secured €800,000 pre-seed funding for its first-mile traceability system and automating compliance, designed to meet pending EU and German legislation. It’s starting with cocoa, providing source traceability to improve the livelihood of farmers and secure agri-forestry landscapes.

Plant Based

Image Credit: Shiru

👀 Californian startup Shiru launched its OleoPro ingredient, a solid-at-room-temperature plant-based fat that “looks and behaves like animal fat”, but with 90% less saturated fat, which it discovered in three months using AI.

🍔 Impossible Foodspatent for its plant-based heme ingredient is to be reviewed by the US Patent and Trademark Office, as part of the ongoing dispute with competitor Motif FoodWorks. In the meantime, Impossible is expanding its portfolio with its “boldest” burger yet, the Impossible Indulgent Burger, which it says is thicker and offers a more gourmet flavour.

🤝 Israeli plant-based meat startup More Foods announced a strategic partnership with Tivol, a branch of the Osem-Nestlé Group, to develop and market ‘meaty’ products made from pumpkin seeds.

🙋‍♂️ Jon Blair is stepping down as interim president at plant-based dairy company Miyoko’s Creamery at the end of the month, having been propelled into an acting CEO role last summer following founder Miyoko Schinner’s departure.

🧀 Bel Brands unveiled two new plant-based cheeses under its Nurishh brand, a feta alternative and a goat’s cheese alternative.

🥛 Marks & Spencer announced that it is packaging oat milk in the same bottles as dairy milk, for consumers who want to purchase larger volumes, which it says is a market first.

Big Food

Image Credit: Starbucks

☕️ Starbucks is set to develop a sustainability learning and innovation laboratory at its global agronomy headquarters in Costa Rica, which will serve as a hub for hands-on and virtual learning opportunities involving environmental and social issues.

🛒 UK supermarket Iceland is trialling what it says is the “world’s first” supermarket aisle dedicated to food designed to be cooked in air fryers, thanks to booming sales of the kitchen gadget.

🍲 Sainsbury’s is launching a ‘Dinspiration’ pop-up next week at London’s Kings Cross station offering commuters grab-and-go meal kits, with options such as teriyaki stir fry and harissa chicken traybake, for just 50p, with all proceeds donated to charity.

Trends: Fighting Wildfires

Forest fires are becoming more and more powerful every year - causing ever more devastating destruction, not just in the regions where they burn (sometimes for many months) but further afield too. The innovations from companies focusing on wildlife prevention cannot come soon enough.

🔎 Discover in the full FoodHack+ Report:
- 2x case studies (Chooch, IGNIS By Drone Amplified)
- The why, the challenges and the figures behind the space
- List of 25 companies fighting the wildfires

Find out more about how the new technologies bringing relief to this sector should not be sniffed at - AI and drones, in particular, should go a long way to solving some of the issues currently affecting how we fight forest fires. And that is very welcome news for people, wildlife and our environment.

From the Community

🔦 Looking for a job in FoodTech:

☀️ Let’s meet this summer! Join your local FoodTech community in Ljublana (26th June), San Francisco (29th June), Lisbon (4th July) and Berlin (13th July).

📈 Apply today for EIT Food’s Sales Booster to grow your venture in the agrifood sector. Open to startups based in Central-Eastern Europe and South of Europe.

🔥 Just for fun: Cultivated meat is hot again..

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Curated by Nicola and Laura 

Until next time - Stay Hungry