Avant Meats announced today via an emailed press release, that it has achieved a 90 percent reduction in the cost of producing its cultured functional proteins. The Hong Kong-based company also announced that it has partnered with Chinese biopharmaceutical company QuaCell to bring the cost down even further.
Avant is best-known as the company using fish cells to create cultured fish maw and sea cucumbers, both of which are considered delicacies in Chinese cuisine. The company conducted the first tasting of its fish maw product back in November of 2019.
Avant said that it will combine its cell-cultivation technology with QuaCell’s 7,000 m2 ISO and GMP accredited facilities in China, which are equipped with bioreactors that can reach 2,000 liters to supply FDA-compliant customers globally.
Avant said that it has already achieved a 90 percent cost reduction in the production of its proteins using the company’s fetal bovine serum (FBS)-free cell culture media. With the QuaCell partnership, Avant said that that it will target and additional 75 percent cost reduction. It plans to do this by converting ingredients to food grade from pharma grade and by optimizing its formula for large-scale bioreactors. Avant also said that its partnership with QuaCell will reduce its capital expenditure and accelerate its ability to scale by at least 12 months.
Price parity with animal-based meat has been a priority for the cultured meat sector as the industry aims to bring products into the mainstream. But as new and established startups in the cultured meat space continue to innovate, the timeline for that parity continues to shrink. Future Meat brought the cost of its cell-based chicken down 1,000x over the last three years, with a quarter pound serving now costing $7.50. CellulaREvolution just raised $1.37 million for its bioreactor technology that can continuously produce cells in a serum-free environment in small footprint. And in a recent Spoon podcast, Jim Mellon, author of Moo’s Law: An Investor’s Guide to the New Agrarian Revolution, predicted that cell cultured meat will hit price parity in just five years and will eventually be cheaper to produce than both traditional animal meat and plant-based meat.
Deals like the one between Avant and QuaCell, which pair a startup’s innovation with an established manufacturer, should certainly help increase production of cell-based protein and bring the price down in the process.