Mainland Chinese cultivated meat startup Joes Future Food has raised 20 million RMB (US$3 million) in an angel investment round. The food tech, recently rebranded from Nanjing Zhouzi, will be using the funding to ramp up R&D and overcome technical challenges in order to improve its current product – cultivated minced pork.
While plant-based diets are growing in popularity, many people across the world will go on craving the taste and texture of meat — which is where Higher Steaks comes in.The Cambridge-based startup announced on Tuesday that it has created the world’s first prototype of lab-grown bacon rashers and pork belly, using animal cells.“This is a major milestone for Higher Steaks,” said founder and chief executive Benjamina Bollag in a statement. “We have made substantial advancements in a relatively short amount of time whilst managing cash flow.”
But here’s where Meatable has an edge. While many of the other 40-odd companies working in the cultured meat space use fetal bovine serum or Chinese hamster ovary cells to stimulate cell division and production, Meatable has licensed a technology dubbed OPTi-OX, which involves engineering induced pluripotent stem cells for specific cell types then ‘reprogramming’ them to adult stem cells. The process yields consistent, homogeneous, rapid cell batches—in other words, a full steak in a matter of weeks.
And that is what UK-based startup HigherSteaks is betting on. Co-founded in 2017 by Benjamina Bollag, a 26-year-old with a Masters in chemical engineering from Imperial College, HigherSteaks is right now in the development process and aiming to bring cultured pork — created from animal cells, not slaughtered meat — to our plates from 2022.While some of its competitors are developing steak, or chicken, HigherSteaks has chosen pork, because it is the most-consumed meat in the world, a big user of antibiotics, and also in the grip of a massive crisis due to rampaging African Swine Fever.