Boy oh boy, what a week for news! In addition to the new product launches at the Amazon Event (hi, Alexa-powered microwave), InstantPot also came up with a blender that blends hot and cold, and a new law passed which will allow Californians to sell home-cooked meals.
But there were quite a few other food tech-y stories that caught our eye this week, from the first cell-based pork tasting to a pizza with a three-year (!) shelf life. Start off your weekend by catching up on the latest:
JUST Inc. debuts sustainable food accelerator to tackle Asian market
Plant-based food company JUST Inc. announced plans this week to launch Made JUST, a “first-of-its-kind approach to bring sustainable and functional tools from the plant and animal kingdoms to the world’s brightest entrepreneurs.” For their first iteration, the startup teamed up with global venture accelerator Brinc and plans to tackle the Asian market. Each chosen company will receive $500,000 HKD (~$64,000 USD), as well as mentorship opportunities, access to Asian consumers, and access to JUST’s discovery pipeline. Any goods that come out of the platform will have a “Made JUST” logo.
Oregon launches America’s first statewide refillable bottle system
The Oregon Beverage Recycling Group (OBRC) has developed a new bottle that can be refilled up to 40 times. The bottles are made chiefly out of recycled glass and have a unique barcode that distinguishes them from other, non-refillable bottles. With their statewide infrastructure for bottle collection, the OBRC can find bottles that have been thrown in the recycling and return them to breweries for refilling.
The Army has developed a pizza M.R.E.
M.R.E.’s (or Meals Ready to Eat) are meals that are long-lasting and require no cooking, making them ideal for combat missions or extreme temperatures. Generally, they’re pretty unappetizing — but recently the U.S. Army came out with an M.R.E. (soon to be deployed) featuring a food that nobody doesn’t love: pizza. The new Sicilian-style slice has cheese, tomato sauce, and pepperoni bits, and stays good for at least 36 months.
Danone & co. form plant-based food lobby in Canada
This week Danone, Hain Celestial, Ripple Foods, Field Roast, and other plant-based producers teamed up to form a lobbying organization called Plant-Based Foods of Canada (PBFA). PBFA’s aim is to protect the market and regulatory interests of plant-based food companies in the Great North. This comes around the same time the FDA and USDA are tackling issues of labeling for plant-based milks and cell-based meat; Canada clearly wants to make sure its alterna-meats have the right to market themselves in the ways in which they see fit.
New Age Meats does world’s first cell-based pork taste test
This past Monday cell-based meat startup New Age Meats invited journalists to a San Francisco brewery for the world’s first taste test of cultured pork. Co-founders Brian Spears and Andra Necula teamed up with chef/butcher Matt Murphy to turn their lab-grown pork muscle and fat tissue into sausages (with a vegan casing, of course). Business Insider’s Erin Brodwin got to taste the slaughter-free sausages, and had this to say:
The flavor was smoky and savory. The texture was distinctly sausage-like. It tasted like meat. Then again, it is meat.
This test was an exciting landmark in the march to bring cell-based meat to market. There have been taste tests of cultured duck and beef, but never pork — by harnessing automation and data, Indie Bio-backed New Age Meats hopes to have their product on the market in a couple of years.
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