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Agri food tech

Upside Foods develops ‘breakthrough’ chicken cell line reducing cost of cultivated meat production

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2 min read
AUTHOR: Fiona Holland
Fried chicken sandwich in bread bun held in hands above blue plate with chips

Image credit: Upside Foods

American cultivated meat producer Upside Foods has announced the successful development of a ‘breakthrough’ chicken cell line for use in suspension cell culture, which the start-up says could bring down the cost of producing cultured meat.

Most forms of cultivated meat are made using adherent cell culture systems, whereby the animal cells are tissue-culture treated with growth media to enable the cells to grow. Suspension cell culture in comparison can be carried out using culture vessels, without the need for platelet-derived growth factors (PDGF) – one of the most expensive growth factor ingredients used in cultivated meat production.

“Our breakthrough in developing a PDGF-independent cell line represents a major scientific achievement in the production of cultivated meat,” Kevin Kayser, SVP of Research and Development at Upside Foods, said in a statement.

“By eliminating the most expensive growth factor in our process, we’re able to dramatically reduce cost and increase scale. We look forward to leveraging the insights gained to drive future innovations and continue to work towards making all of our products more delicious, affordable, humane, and sustainable.”

In addition, the company has created a new cultivated ground chicken meat, which is using to launch a line of sausages, sandwiches, and dumplings. If they receive regulatory approval, these products will help to further grow its portfolio.

Upside Foods made headlines last year, when it received the green light from the US Food and Drug Administration for its whole textured cultivated chicken. Once it secures the remaining approvals from the Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service the product can then be sold in restaurants across the US .

“For us to realize the impact that we want to have, we’ve always known that we need to provide a portfolio that matches the diversity of formats and forms that consumers expect,” Dr. Uma Valeti, CEO and Founder of UPSIDE Foods added. “Our first consumer product, a cultivated chicken filet, demonstrates our ability to deliver the experience of eating a more complex and textured meat product. On the other hand, our ground products are extremely versatile and enable us to explore a range of exciting formats and flavor experiences, while also allowing us to scale faster and make cultivated meat more accessible. Both are exquisite and equally delicious, and we can’t wait for people to try them.”

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