USA – Eat Just has set the balling rolling for the setting up of a commercial-scale cell-based meat facility in the United States.
The company, through its cultivated meat division, Good Meat, has signed an exclusive multi-year agreement with biotech process engineering company ABEC to build 10 250,000-liter bioreactors for meat cultivation.
The bioreactors which according to Eat Just are the largest ever built for bird or mammal cell culture will be at a facility that can make up to 30 million pounds of meat a year.
“We’ve learned that consumers want this, and we’re ready to take the next step to make this happen at a commercial scale. I am very proud to partner with the ABEC team to make this historic facility happen,” Josh Tetrick, co-founder and CEO of Eat Just, said in a written statement.
Eat Just is currently looking for a site for this facility, which will be in the United States and should have a location in the next three months.
The move makes Eat Just the latest cell-based meat company to announce its plans for a commercial-scale facility in the United States.
Israeli-based startups Future Meat Technologies and SuperMeat and California-based Upside Foods are other cell-based companies engaged in similar processes.
Funding and technological ability are making it possible for companies to look toward this step. In 2021, Eat Just was the beneficiary of US$467 million in investment funds, out of which US$267 million was set aside for Good Meat.
This new agreement between Eat Just and ABEC will help enable the type of future that many in the space have talked about, in which consumers will be able to choose whether their meat came from animals.
Eat Just however cannot sell Good Meat to U.S. consumers just yet as the U.S. government doesn’t yet have regulations for cell-based meat products or facilities
The company, like many others in the space, has been working with the USDA and the FDA — which will be jointly regulating cultivated meat products — for years.
But, considering the amount of time it takes to build a large-scale facility, it may well be ready at a time Eat Just is able to sell its cultivated meat.
This is the second big partnership Eat Just has announced recently. Last week, the company revealed a joint development agreement with Archer Daniels Midland.
Through this partnership, ADM is working with Eat Just on two other major components of scaling cell-based meat: optimizing a plant-based growth medium to feed the cells and helping with the taste and texture of eventual products.
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