Sunday, December 24, 2017

Meat industry facing competition

The big-money community that has funded startups such as Apple and Facebook is taking a keen interest in making products to replace beef, pork and chicken.

Fortune Magazine has a feature article in its current issue about who is doing what, including startups that have attracted investments from Tyson and Cargill.

The developers break into two basic camps.

One is those who use plants to make products that the developers hope will taste, smell, cook and have the mouth feel of the meats they aim to replace.

The other uses cells taken from animals or chickens and seeks to multiply them, usually in fermentation tanks, and then structure them into products.

So far the cellular approach has been extremely expensive. It also faces more challenges gaining regulatory approvals to make it to market.

But the cellular approach is the one that some of the venture capitalists with the deepest pockets have chosen to support.

Maple Leaf Foods Inc., which has bought two companies this year on either side of the United States, is investing in those taking the plant-based approach and with products already on the market.