February 21, 2024

If you’ve been following the food tech industry lately, you’ve seen a lot of activity in the past week with Good Meat and Upside Foods getting USDA approval to sell their respective farmed chicken products commercially in the U.S.

eggsis a Los Angeles-based plant-based meat startup that not only hopes to be the next to receive similar regulatory approval, but also believes it has cracked the code on how to lower the cost of traditionally high-scale production of plant-based meat, which can run thousands of units. Faux meat. dollars per liter.

The company was founded by Ali Khademhosseini four years ago and developed by the Terasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation. Before founding Omeat, Khademhosseini worked on growing human tissue for medical applications after studying at MIT. As he learned more about animal farming practices, he turned his focus to developing a scalable method of growing cultured meat.

Omeat has a patent-pending technological approach that “enables the growth of any meat in a more sustainable and humane way than traditional methods,” CEO Khademhosseini told TechCrunch.

The process uses regenerative factors humanely extracted from bovine plasma to create the growth medium, a big driver of the high cost of cultured meat and why some companies choose to make their own, he explained.

Plasma is collected weekly from cows, in a similar way to how humans donate plasma, Khadhosseini said. Omeat sources its growth medium not just from any cow, but specifically from free-roaming herds that are regenerated in the California state it designed in collaboration with UC Davis’ Kristina Horback. Grazing in the farm.

It was then developed into a growing medium, and one type of medium can be used to grow any kind of meat, including beef, pork, chicken or fish. Egg meat starts with beef.

The company, which raised $40 million in Series A funding in 2022 from investors including S2G Ventures, Google Ventures, Bold Capital Partners, Tyson Ventures, Rethink Food, Trailhead Capital, and Cavallo Ventures, is building a pilot plant and expanding its team to be commercially ready. .

Omeat expanded its current plant capacity to a 200-liter bioreactor, and the pilot plant will have the capacity to scale up bioreactors to 2,000 liters and 10,000 liters, Khademhosseini said, according to global demand, to compete with conventional beef.

“One cow providing plasma every week can produce the equivalent of many cows of meat per year,” Kadem Hosseini said. “Our vision is to make it economically viable, thereby encouraging many in the existing food supply community to work with We work together to improve margins and address the thin margins that exist today.”