Brazilian company begins work on Spain’s first “cultivated meat” plant

Out of a job? Artificial beef aims to improve the world’s “protein security” (Kim Hansen/CC BY-SA 3.0)
Brazilian meatpacking company JBS said yesterday that it had begun work on Spain’s first production plant for artificial meat, the Reuters news agency reports

The plant, which is being developed by JPS subsidiary BioTech Foods, is set to be completed by the middle of next year.

The factory is the first fruit of BioTech Foods’ “investMEAT project”, which involves research into cell lines, cultured media, and biomaterials that scale up cultivated meat production to the industrial level.

According to JBS, the plant should produce more than 1,000 tonnes of cultivated beef a year. This may expand to 4,000 tonnes in the medium term.

Eduardo Noronha, JBS’ head of value-added business, said: “The new BioTech plant puts JBS in a unique position to lead the segment and ride this wave of innovation.”

Iñigo Charola, BioTech Foods’ chief executive, added: “With the challenges imposed on global supply chains, cultivated protein offers the potential to stabilise food security and global protein production.”

JBS said BioTech plans to ramp up capacity to meet growing consumer demand in Australia, Brazil, the EU, Japan, Singapore and the US.

BioTech produces its cultured meat from a sample of cells collected from livestock and grown into a tissue, similar to that produced in the animal’s body.

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