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Future Meat Technologies makes cell-based chicken costing $7.50

The Israel-based cultured meat company is planning to get its products on plates in 2022 — or earlier if regulatory agencies move faster.

After Mosa Meat showed off the world's first hamburger made from cell-based meat in 2013 — a process that took two years and cost the equivalent of $325,000 — people believed that real meat could be made without slaughtering an animal.

Then came the next challenge: producing cell-based meat less expensively, let alone at a price affordable to a consumer.

The price has been steadily dropping thanks to more players in the game, scientific advancements, new plant-based growth media, and partnerships across different scientific disciplines. Most recently, Israel-based Future Meat Technologies has gotten the price to produce a cell-based chicken breast down to about $7.50.

"In seven years, we managed to bring down the cost of the hamburger by 28,000 times. Can you imagine anything else in the world depreciating by 28,000 times?" Future Meat Technologies Founder and Chief Science Officer Yaakov Nahmias said. "Imagine what would happen if you can buy a Tesla Model X for 28,000 times less than when it emerged. I mean, you would buy it for essentially, you know, $20."

Getting the price of cell-based meat down to where consumers can afford it is central to developing it as a food item and to building the foundation of the industry, Nahmias said. After all, consumers will not be willing to buy it if it costs a lot more than conventional meats. Low cost and efficient production were at the forefront of Nahmias' mind when he started Future Meat in 2018 — and the company is getting closer to both.

In addition to the lower cost of a chicken breast, Future Meat Technologies also announced $26.75 million in new funding. This latest round, in the form of a convertible note, involved both new and old investors in the company, and it more than doubles its existing funds.

Existing investors Tyson Foods, Archer Daniels Midland, S2G Ventures, Manta Ray Investors, Emerald Technology Ventures and Bits x Bites all participated in this round. Joining them as first-time funders are German dairy producer Müller Group, U.S.-based CPG and foodservice products maker Rich Products Corp. and investment firm ADM Capital (not affiliated with the ingredients and grain company).

Par Megan Poinski

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