Daesang teams up with innovative startup to develop commodity clean meat technology

By Lim Chang-won Posted : June 2, 2021, 11:01 Updated : June 2, 2021, 11:01

[Gettyimages Bank]

SEOUL -- Through cooperation with an innovative domestic startup known for a novel nutritional medium designed to support cell therapy development and production, Daesang, a major food material and product producer in South Korea, jumped into a global race to develop technology for the mass-produce commodity clean meat produced by the in vitro cell culture of animal cells.

Under a strategic partnership with Xcell Therapeutics, Daesang would complete the joint development of cell media for cultivated meat by 2023. "This agreement will be a great help in pioneering the high-tech bio market through collaboration with an innovative cell media company," Daesang CEO Im Jeong-bae said in a statement on June 2.

Daesang said its global sales network and biomaterial business capabilities will be combined with Xcell's technology to reduce manufacturing costs and realize safety. Many companies and researchers are trying to establish a new paradigm for mass-production by lowering costs through technological advancements. Potential factors of consumer acceptance are healthiness, safety, nutritional characteristics, sustainability, taste and lower prices.

Xcell CEO Lee Ui-il said that the partnership with Daesang is meaningful as it comes in line with a government campaign to secure technology sovereignty. "We will do our best to create a successful cooperative model between South Korea's leading food company and a technology-based venture company," Lee said.

Xcell's medium is a synthetic formulation that provides greater consistency since it is produced in a controlled environment using ingredients that are chemically defined, enabling researchers and clinicians to culture human mesenchymal stem cells.

The manufacturing process of clean meat begins with acquiring and banking stem cells from an animal. Cells grow in cultivators at high densities and volumes before being fed with an oxygen-rich cell culture medium made up of basic nutrients and supplemented with proteins and other growth factors. Changes in the medium composition trigger immature cells to differentiate into the skeletal muscle, fat, and connective tissues that make up meat.

In June 2020, Noah Biotech teamed up with Eone Diagnomics Genome Center (EDGC), a genomics company based in South Korea, to develop technologies for the commercial production of clean meat using 3D printing technology that can reduce production costs. They would cultivate stem cells derived from cow muscles in three dimensions.

Noah Biotech will use 3D bioprinting-based organizational engineering technology to produce thick clean meat in large quantities at low prices. The technology uses 3D printing to print the muscle derived from the cow and biomaterial containing fat cells in three-dimensional shapes and make it into a three-dimensional culture state at high speed.
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