Chinese cultivated meat company CellX opens pilot plant and plans to apply for regulatory approval in Singapore and US
CellX, a cultivated meat company based in Shanghai, has opened a pilot facility on the outskirts of the Chinese city.
According to Reuters, CellX held a tasting event on Wednesday [09/08/2023] for investors, the Chinese government and the media, at its plant. Guests were able to sample cultivated meat in the form of kebabs and tofu with mince. According to the company, the dishes served costs less than 100 yuan ($13.87) to produce.
CellX opened its pilot plant in Shanghai this week. The facility is able to produce two tonnes of cultivated meat per year. The start-up is also investing in a plant for commercial production, due to be completed in 2025.
Following news of cultivated meat being approved for human consumption in the US in June, CellX CEO Ziliang Yang confirmed the company will file regulatory approval dossiers in the United States and in Singapore, where cultured meat has been legal since 2020. He added that they are hoping to go to market in the countries by 2025, starting to sell their products in restaurants.
Although there is no information regarding when China might approve the consumption of cultivated meat, in January 2022 China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs published the 14th Five-Year Plan for the Science and Technology Development of National Agriculture and Rural Areas, mentioning cultured meat as one of the key food areas in need of development. Professor Zhou Guanghong, Chief Scientist of Joes Future Food, a cellular agriculture start-ups said to be the first to have successfully developed lab-grown meat in the country, was invited to contribute to the Five-Year Plan targets.
Bioreactors are cheaper in China than elsewhere. Furthermore the Chinese government has offered incentives to companies working in the cell-ag sector, making production of cultivated meat in the country more competitive.
“At the end of the day, producing in China means having that infrastructure at a relatively lower cost and this is a key advantage,” Ziliang Yang said. “It’s really going to be about leveraging that supply chain and going overseas, that’s the story as we see it.”