The cultured meat sector is brimming with companies racing to scale up and produce low cost cellular meat products for market. To do that, they each need growth factor protein – the most expensive part of the cellular meat production process. Canadian firm ‘Future Fields’ has the technology that can produce bioactive growth factors at large scale. Today it closed a $2.2M Seed Round with sights firmly set on shipping its first product.
No Growth Factor Protein, no cultured meat
Growth factor protein signals cells when and how to grow, it’s a vital component in the cellular meat production process. Historically the process used fetal bovine serum (FBS) harvested from slaughterhouses or growth factors produced by microbes. However, both approaches are expensive and difficult to scale for mass-market products. This has kept cellular meat hovering around $50 per pound compared to the average of less than $6 per pound for steak.
Future Fields shipping first growth factor product ‘FGF2’
Future Fields’ novel platform produces the vital bioactive growth factors at both large scale and low cost, with the potential to reduce cellular meat’s cost per pound to more competitive levels. The company’s first commercial product ‘FGF2’ is shipping to producers of various cell-based meat products with growth factors tailored to specific cell types soon to follow.
Future Fields was founded in 2018 by CEO Lejjy Gafour, COO Jalene Anderson-Baron, and Chief Scientific Officer Matt Anderson-Baron. Gafour believes that the firm’s new FGF2 product could revolutionize the cellular meat industry: “One of the critical problems facing cellular agriculture is the lack of high-quality, customized growth media at a cost and scale that can support mass-market production,” he explains. “The shipment of our proprietary FGF2 shows that our novel platform provides a real-world solution to that problem and unleashes the full potential of cellular agriculture.”
High-Quality, Low Environmental-Impact Protein
Population growth, climate change and environmental concerns are driving consumer demand for alternative food sources. Cellular agriculture is one of several new approaches to creating high-quality protein with less impact on land, water, and other environmental resources. The process uses cells or microorganisms to create agricultural products, such as milk or meat. Applying the principles of biology, scientists can engineer cells to create new products that are indistinguishable from traditional agriculture products – all without the use of animals, livestock, or farmland.