Technology

Artificial beef on sale in Japan soon?

The Japanese giant Mitsubishi, present in many sectors such as the food industry, chemicals and even the automotive industry, has just signed an agreement with the Israeli start-up Aleph Farms. The goal of this collaboration is to bring artificial beef from Aleph Farms to Japan, where demand for meat is exploding. No information was provided on the terms of the contract.

Attract consumers
The two companies will work together to adapt the substrate, made using Aleph Farms technology, to consumer tastes and Japanese standards. Mitsubishi’s strike force will be used to increase production and distribution of the product. Indeed, the conglomerate is present in all links of the supply chain of the Japanese market, from production and supply of raw materials to the manufacture of finished food products.

For Aleph Farms, this collaboration marks a first step towards the industrialization of its manufacturing method called “BioFarm”, which works from beef cells via a process of muscle tissue regeneration. “This cooperation demonstrates Aleph Farms’ strategy of working with the food and meat industries to ensure successful integration of cultured meat into the ecosystem (…)“, detailed Didier Toubia, CEO of Aleph Farms, in a blog post.

Be approved by regulatory authorities
But the young shoot is aware that there is still a long way to go. First of all, its product will have to pass the test of regulatory authorities and then be accepted by Japanese consumers fond of the famous “Wagyu” beef, whose taste is far removed from the artificial substitute.

Aleph Farms will also have to compete with national nuggets such as Integriculture, which has developed a versatile cell culture platform designed for a wide range of cell farming products. During its last fundraising of 7.4 million dollars in May, the start-up promised to quickly bring to market an artificial “foie gras”.

A juicy market
For its part, if Mitsubishi is interested in cultivated meat, it is not only to respond to environmental concerns. The “lab meat” market is expected to reach $ 140 billion within 10 years, according to forecasts from Blue Horizon Corporation, a company that invests heavily in alternative proteins.

The Singaporean authorities recently authorized the sale of artificial meat. However, such an authorization seems unthinkable in France, according to the statements of the Minister of Agriculture and Food Julien Denormandie. “Count on me so that in France, meat remains natural and never artificial!“, he wrote on Twitter in reaction to this news.

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