Ajinomoto invests in SuperMeat, focuses on establishing supply chain for cultivated meat industry
SuperMeat, a food-tech company focused on cultivated meat, announced a new strategic partnership with Ajinomoto to establish a commercially viable supply chain platform for the cultivated meat industry.
As part of the partnership, Ajinomoto will invest in SuperMeat as one of its corporate venture capital projects. The venture will work to tackle ongoing food and health issues in the world by combining SuperMeat’s technologies and expertise in cultivated meat, with Ajinomoto’s proprietary R&D technologies in the biotechnology field and fermentation.
Through this strategic partnership, Ajinomoto and SuperMeat will create, and validate, commercially viable production and value chain solutions helping to accelerate commercialization of the cultivated meat industry while solidifying consumer and manufacturer acceptance.
One of the focus areas of this partnership is the development of cell-growth media and its ingredients applicable to cultivated meat. The cultivated meat market is estimated to grow to 25 billion dollars by 2030 according to a McKinsey & Company report, up from an expected 2 billion dollars in 2025.
To live up to its promise, the cultivated meat industry along with its supply chain, must scale rapidly to be able to offer competitively priced products. Cell Media, which contains the nutrients needed for animal cell growth, accounts for the majority of cultivated meat production costs. A significant part of these costs are incurred by recombinant proteins and growth factors added to media to help cells grow and differentiate. In order to satisfy the predicted demand for cultivated meat and become cost competitive with traditional meat, further improvements will be needed in the supply of growth factors, including the reduction of inefficiencies between supply and demand for growth factors and the introduction of food-grade growth factors.
“In the past year, we have made tremendous strides in product development and scale, setting us up for industrial commercialization,” says Ido Savir, CEO of SuperMeat. “We are thrilled to partner with Ajinomoto, a global leader in food and biotechnology, to bring to market scalable, affordable and delicious cultivated meat products in poultry and beyond.”
SuperMeat is one of the first companies to show proof of concept for potential B2B partners, most recently hosting a blind tasting, comparing cultivated and traditional chicken – where professional tasters and chefs reinforced just how indistinguishable the two can be. SuperMeat’s proprietary technology allows it to grow muscle, fat and connective tissue all together in a tissue-like structure that is efficient, delicious and scalable. This patent-pending method produces the same nutritional and organoleptic properties of meat products without the use of any scaffolding or carriers.
“We look forward to partnering with SuperMeat, whose mission and values align closely with our own, to bring the world more viable sustainable options as alternative protein,” said Hiroshi Shiragami, Executive Officer & Senior Vice President, Chief Innovation Officer of Ajinomoto. “SuperMeat has an impressive track record of producing high-quality cultivated poultry products that have the potential to impact the global meat supply chain and meet consumer demand.”
This partnership is part of Ajinomoto’s 2020–2025 Medium-Term Management Plan to become a solution-provider in food and health issues. It recognizes that cultivated meat can be a viable solution to protein supply issues and aims to contribute to the establishment of a sustainable value chain that stretches from producers to consumers.
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