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SuperMeat wants you to produce lab-grown chicken

Oscar Rousseau

By Oscar Rousseau+

13-Jul-2016
Last updated on 13-Jul-2016 at 12:49 GMT2016-07-13T12:49:58Z

Ronan Bar of SuperMeat: support for our lab-grown meat project has been 'amazing'
Ronan Bar of SuperMeat: support for our lab-grown meat project has been 'amazing'

SuperMeat, an Israeli biotechnology start-up, wants $2.5m so it can develop a groundbreaking gadget that allows consumers to grow chicken breasts at home. 

The company launched a campaign on crowdsourcing website Indiegogo this week, which has already garnered over $50,000 from more than 1,000 investors.

Ronen Bar, campaign manager for SuperMeat, who previously worked as an undercover meat factory investigator, said the company’s ultimate ambition was to roll out machines allow consumers to grow meat at home.

This device, Bar explained, would be similar to a bread-maker – but instead of bread consumers would produce raw poultry meat. It would plug into a power source like any other kitchen appliance. Once the machine is turned on, a modified environment is created that mimics the conditions inside an animal’s body, allowing cells to form muscular tissue which eventually becomes meat.

‘Inherent problem’

The company is focused on producing organically grown chicken meat to address problems linked to feeding a growing population, expected to reach 9.6bn by 2050, according to the United Nations.

There is an inherent problem in the meat industry – we know it is one of the leading causes of global warming, we know it causes public health problems and we know there are more people to feed,” said Bar. “I think the world understands that there is a problem but it still hasn’t embraced the solution.”

SuperMeat is currently more than halfway towards reaching its first financial target: $100,000 in funding to help work on a prototype for growing chicken and ground meat. Bar said it would take around one-and-a-half to two years for the meat to grow naturally and become edible. The $2.5m target, he said, would enable the company to work on commoditising the technology, so it can be sold with a price tag that ensures its target market can afford it.

 
Protein, infographic, meat

Infographic for homemade protein meat courtesy of SuperMeat

Important project

Cultured meat, for me, should be a global endeavour like cracking the human genome or putting a man on the moon,” said Bar. “It’s so important for us to disconnect meat from deforestation, antibiotic resistance and animal suffering - and it’s important for our plant.

The ability to grow meat for SuperMeat has come thanks to strides forward in bioengineering, stem cell research and genetic regeneration.

Koby Barak, co-founder and CEO of SuperMeat said earlier that the technology his company was developing could “revolutionise the food industry”.
The company's Indiegogo campaign will run for at least another two months. 

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