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Lab-grown meat factory starts pilot production in Shanghai

SHANGHAI (XINHUA) – A pilot factory for cultivated meat has started operation in the eastern Chinese city of Shanghai, marking another step toward scale production of such lab-grown meat.

The factory owned by Shanghai-based CellX is bid as a key bridge between lab tests and commercial production of cultivated meat in China, which has prioritised the task of ensuring food security for its 1.4 billion people.

By leveraging the company’s self-developed technologies, such as low-cost serum-free culture medium, the plant has managed to cut the production cost of its cultivated meat below USD100 per pound, said CellX Chief Executive Officer Yang Ziliang on Wednesday. Yang said the company aims to launch the product overseas by 2025 and is working to obtain market approval in countries like the United States and Singapore, which have approved sales of cultivated meat.

Cultivated meat is made by putting animal cells in a vessel and feeding them nutrients to multiply and grow.

The industry holds promises of mass-producing more nutritious meat while sparing animals from butchers’ knives.

Globally the cultivated meat industry is speeding up its process of commercialisation, and the Shanghai factory is among the few large-scale pilot plants that have been put into operation.