The largest bioreactors for growing meat and poultry products are set to come to the US thanks to a new deal between the biotech manufacturing company, ABEC, and GOOD Meat, a leading developer of new food technology.
A subsidiary of the plant-based protein startup Eat Just (which was formerly known as Hampton Creek), GOOD Meat is developing chicken and beef products grown in bioreactors rather than raised on a farm and slaughtered.
The company has raised hundreds of millions of dollars to build out both its technology and its manufacturing capabilities to supply the world with tons of beef and chicken grown without the same environmental footprint as industrial farming.
The long-term plans call for the development of ten 250,000-liter bioreactors at a massive manufacturing plant at a still-to-be determined location in the US, which should produce up to 30 million pounds of meat without the need to slaughter a single animal, the company said.
GOOD Meat, also intends to build an initial bioreactor at its Alameda, Calif. headquarters in 2022, and another large-scale facility in Singapore, where GOOD has been selling cultured meat products since 2020.
“Our first step was receiving regulatory approval and launching in Singapore. Our second step has been selling to customers through restaurants, street vendors and delivery platforms," said Josh Tetrick, the co-founder and chief executive of Eat Just. "We’ve learned that consumers want this, and we’re ready to take the next step to make this happen at commercial scale."
GOOD isn't the first company to build a working commercial scale bioreactor in the US. That title goes to Upside Foods, another well-funded company making meats from cell cultures.
In addition to those two, there are a slew of companies racing to make different products from cultured animal cells. Orbillion Bio, which announced its plans for price parity within the next two years for its is working on growing a Wagyu beef line, and the FootPrint Coalition-backed Wild Type is making lab-grown salmon.
GOOD Meat's agreement with ABEC comes just over a week after the company inked another big deal with ADM, the international agricultural and food processing giant.
“ADM has long been a pioneer in the alternative protein industry, and our strategic focus right now is on developing innovative new technology and solutions to continue expanding our capabilities to serve the fast-growing global demand for protein-based nutritional needs,” said Leticia Gonçalves, ADM’s president, Global Foods, in a statement. “Cultivated meat solutions have an exciting role to play in this space, and we are eager to work together with GOOD Meat to bring great-tasting, innovative cultivated meat products to the Singapore market and beyond.”
The partnership with ADM, which likely includes an investment into GOOD Meat, will build on research the startup has done into growth media and inputs needed to make meat products that are as tasty as their farm-fed counterparts.
In the same way a chicken or a cow absorbs amino acids, vitamins, and fat through consuming soy and corn, GOOD Meat’s cells require an optimal growth medium for quality, cost and volume, the companies said in a statement. It’s a 21st-century extension of what ADM has done with industrial agriculture by supplying the industry with superior livestock feed, supplements, and other ingredients.
“ADM has been making and innovating in food over 120 years. We are proud to partner with their incredibly talented team of scientists and engineers to take cultivated meat from a few restaurants today to millions of consumers tomorrow,” said Josh Tetrick, co-founder and CEO of Eat Just.