The Tyson Foods venture capital investment arm continues its push for other potential poultry production methods with a new investment in the Israeli start-up Future Meat technologies.
The latest investment of Tyson Ventures, the vegetable protein manufacturer Beyond Meat and the Meat Memphis Meats culture company, is also attacking the technological development to create mass-produced meat in a lab – and not on the market. closed.
Future Meat Technologies is working on the commercialization of a manufacturing technology for fat and muscle cells that was first developed in the laboratories of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
"It is hard to imagine that cultivated meat becomes a reality with a current production price of about $ 10,000 per
kilogram," said Yaakov Nahmias, founder and chief scientist of the company, in a statement. "We have redesigned the manufacturing process until we reduce it to $ 800 per kilogram today, with a clear roadmap at $ 5-10 per kilogram by 2020."
The agreement marks Tyson's first investment in an Israeli start-up and gives the company another potential horse in the race to develop substitutes for the factory slaughterhouses that provide the most of the American meat.
"It's certainly in the meats of Memphis … in the world of meat in the lab," says Justin Whitmore, executive vice president of corporate strategy and chief of the sustainability of Tyson Foods.
Whitmore strives to emphasize that Tyson continues to invest in its traditional business areas, but acknowledges that the company believes "in exploring additional growth opportunities that give consumers more choices, "according to a statement.
While startups like Impossible Foods are focusing on developing plant-based alternatives to proteins that give meat its flavor, Future Meat Technologies and Memphis Meats are trying to use animal cells to grow meat rather than harvest it. dead animals.
According to Nahmias, animal fat produces the flavors and aromas that stimulate the taste buds, and he says his company can produce fat without harvesting animals and without genetic modification.
For Whitmore, what separates Future Meat Technologies and Memphis Meats, is the scale of bioreactors used by companies to manufacture their meat. The two companies – in fact, all companies looking for a meat substitute – are looking for a way to rely on fetal bovine serum, which is now a crucial component for any lab meat.
"I want my children to eat delicious, durable and safe meat," said Nahmias, in a statement, "this is our commitment to future generations. "
The breadth of the origins among the investors who came together to fund Future Meat Technologies' $ 2.2 million seed cycle testifies to the market opportunity that exists for obtaining a replacement right of meat production.
"Global demand for protein and meat is growing rapidly, with a global market estimated at more than a trillion dollars, including explosive growth in China.We believe that making a healthy, non-GMO product , who can meet this demand is an essential part of our mission, "said Rom Kshuk, the managing director of Future Meat Technologies, in a statement.
One of the first pilot products of the company is the laboratory chicken meat that chefs have already used in some recipes.
In addition to Tyson Ventures, investors in the Future Meat Technologies seed cycle included the Neto Group, an Israeli food conglomerate; Seed2Growth Ventures, a Chicago-based fund backed by Walmart wealth; BitsXBites, a Chinese food technology fund; and Agrinnovation, an Israeli investment fund founded by Yissum, the technology transfer company of the Hebrew University,
"The Hebrew University, home to Israel's only agricultural faculty, specializes in the incubation of applied research in areas such as animal-free meat sources. Future Meat Technologies' innovations are revolutionizing the industry and paving the way for the creation of sustainable alternative protein sources, "said Dr. Yaron Daniely, President and CEO of Yissum.