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article imageSuperMeat startup could disrupt the poultry market

By Karen Graham     Jan 21, 2018 in Food
Tel Aviv - SuperMeat, an Israeli biotech and food-tech startup that is developing lab-made chicken meat, has raised $3 million in seed funding, as it becomes the latest of a crop of so-called ‘clean meat’ companies to get off the ground.
Leading the company's most recent funding round were U.S.-based venture capital firms New Crop Capital and Stray Dog capital. One of Europe's largest poultry producers, PHW also made a strategic investment in the clean-meat company, signaling less disruption and more transformation, SuperMeat CEO and co-founder Ido Savir told Tech Crunch in a telephone call last week.
PHW's investment "is proof that the food industry is ready to embrace new technology, specifically in enabling food production to further scale and in a more sustainable way,” Savir said. Savir has been an ethical Vegan for the past 20 years.
SuperMeat co-founder and COO Shir Friedman told NoCamels, an Israeli Innovation website, the company plans on using the funds to further research and development (R&D) and focus on an "up-scale of their company," moving from lab-scale to commercial-scale.
Southern Fried chicken  made in the laboratory using a new technology.
Southern Fried chicken, made in the laboratory using a new technology.
Memphis Meats
SuperMeat of Tel Aviv, Israel
According to Crunch Base, the Tel Aviv-based company was started in 2015 by Ido Savir, Koby Barak, and Shir Friedman. SuperMeat is a biotech & food-tech startup, developing a technology to create clean meat from chicken cells in a safe and controlled environment, external to the animal’s body.
SuperMeat wants to revolutionize the meat industry from its core, aspiring to secure a better future for humans and animals alike. Clean meat is real meat, with the exact same taste, consistency, and texture that people love and want to eat, except it is created under laboratory conditions.
Clean meat is grown under a controlled, sterile environment without the use of antibiotics and without any possibility of fecal contamination, such as salmonella. Clean meat will require significantly fewer resources for its production (99 percent less land, and 90 percent less water), making it both a healthy and sustainable food source for the coming century.
So how is clean meat created in the laboratory? SuperMeat says it is done by growing real animal cells. And in this case, it means cells extracted from a chicken. Basically, it involves feeding the cells the correct nutrients to produce muscle and fat, as would ordinarily happen were they grown inside an animal’s body.
Broilers in a production house.
Broilers in a production house.
Larry Rena/USDA
If technology could replace the rearing of animals for meat, it would greatly reduce the environmental impact of industrial farming, as well as reducing the spread of food-borne diseases. Plus, the number and amount of antibiotics being used in raising animals for food are actually frightening, particularly because of the growing number of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the world today.
“The potential benefits for public health and animal welfare are considerable,” says Savir. SuperMeat also cites research conducted by Oxford and Amsterdam Universities in 2011 on the environmental impacts of cultured meat production.
According to researchers, switching to clean meat will allow a reduction of up to 98 percent in greenhouse gas emissions, 99 percent in land exploitation, and up to 96 percent in water usage. Meanwhile, the demand for meat is projected to double by 2050, according to the Food and Agriculture Organizations of the United Nations,
More about clean meat, SuperMeat, R&d, laggrown, protein market