TEL AVIV, ISRAEL – Ajinomoto Co., a food and biotechnology company, announced a partnership with Tel Aviv, Israel-based SuperMeat, a developer of poultry meat produced from animal cells.

The goal of the joint venture is to establish a commercially viable supply chain platform for the cultivated meat industry. Ajinomoto will invest in SuperMeat as one of its corporate venture capital projects. The venture will leverage SuperMeat’s technologies and expertise in cultivated meat with Ajinomoto’s proprietary R&D technologies in biotechnology and fermentation.

“We look forward to partnering with SuperMeat, whose mission and values align closely with our own, to bring the world more viable sustainable options as alternative protein,” said Hiroshi Shiragami, executive officer and senior vice president, chief innovation officer of Ajinomoto Co. “SuperMeat has an impressive track record of producing high-quality cultivated poultry products that have the potential to impact the global meat supply chain and meet consumer demand.”

An area of focus for the venture includes the development of cell growth media and ingredients applicable to cultivated meat.

“Cell Media, which contains the nutrients needed for animal cell growth, accounts for the majority of cultivated meat production costs,” the companies explained. “A significant part of these costs are incurred by recombinant proteins and growth factors added to media to help cells grow and differentiate.

“In order to satisfy the predicted demand for cultivated meat and become cost competitive with traditional meat, further improvements will be needed in the supply of growth factors, including the reduction of inefficiencies between supply and demand for growth factors and the introduction of food-grade growth factors,” the companies said.

SuperMeat was able to show proof of concept for potential B2B partners, most recently hosting a blind tasting, comparing cultivated and traditional chicken meat. The company’s proprietary technology enables muscle, fat and connective tissue growth all together in a tissue-like structure that is efficient and scalable. SuperMeat said its patent-pending method produces the same nutritional and organoleptic properties of meat products without the use of any scaffolding or carriers.

The company has been showcasing its meat platform in various events at its pilot production plant, The Chicken, a restaurant and farm-to-fork facility for local meat production.

“In the past year, we have made tremendous strides in product development and scale, setting us up for industrial commercialization,” said Ido Savir, CEO of SuperMeat. “We are thrilled to partner with Ajinomoto, a global leader in food and biotechnology, to bring to market scalable, affordable and delicious cultivated meat products in poultry and beyond.”