Dutch cultivated meat company Meatable is partnering with Asian plant-based butcher Love Handle in a bid to fast track the development of alternative proteins.
The two companies will unite their experience to build the Future of Meat hub in Singapore, which they say will be the world’s first innovation centre dedicated to hybrid protein products.
Some $6M will be invested jointly by Meatable and Love Handle to launch the centre, and up to 10 people will be employed locally to run it.
Working collaboratively, Meatable and Love Handle will produce hybrid products which contain both cultivated meat and plant-based materials. The aim, according to Meatable, is to utilise plant-based proteins to optimise the properties of cultured meat.
By enhancing Meatable’s cultivated meat with a special plant-based recipe developed with Love Handle, the two companies expect to deliver completely new hybrid products that are “indistinguishable from traditional meat”.
Caroline Wilschut, Director of Commerce and Strategy at Meatable, said: “We know that taste is the key distinguisher for consumers when it comes to eating meat. By combining our expertise in cultivated meat with the proficiency Love Handle has developed in plant-based meat, we can bring something truly new and innovative to the market.”
The companies hope that using a hybrid approach will bring cultivated meat products to market sooner. The partners expect to have a range of hybrid meat products – including dumplings, pulled pork, pork belly, meatballs, cold cuts and patties – in local restaurants by 2024 and supermarkets by 2025.
At the same time, other plant-based protein start-ups will be invited to use the Future of Meat centre’s facilities to push forward with the development of their own products.
It has already been a busy year already for Meatable – one of the longest-standing players in the cultivated meat space. Back in October, it was announced the company would become the first to offer cultured pork in Singapore.
The country remains the only one worldwide to have legalised the sale of lab-grown meat, though recent developments could mean the US will soon join these ranks.
Meatable and Love Handle’s partnership was brought about by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) – a government agency which is tasked with supporting alternative protein development throughout the country and boosting food security. The Dutch company and the EDB have already been working together to help localise the cultivated meat supply chain.
Krijn de Nood, Co-Founder and CEO of Meatable, commented: “We’re delighted to announce this partnership with Love Handle to build the world’s first innovation centre for hybrid cultivated meat products.
“Ken Kuguru [Love Handle CEO and Co-Founder] and the Love Handle team are the number one specialists in plant-based meat and have built an incredible business focusing on transforming perceptions of alternative proteins.
“Not only are they the best partner to help us develop an excellent hybrid product because of this extensive knowledge, but they also share our vision to satisfy the world’s growing appetite for meat without harming the environment, animals or people.“