Foodtech start-up BioBetter, Ltd., has opened its first food-grade pilot facility to accelerate the production of key growth factors for the cultivated meat industry. The company has pioneered a unique protein manufacturing platform for producing growth factors (GFs) using tobacco plants as self-sustained, animal-free bioreactors.
Helping cultivated meat companies offer affordable and accessible products to consumers, BioBetter is revolutionizing the future of cellular agriculture with its innovative molecular farming-based production platform. Currently, cultivated meat production processes are relatively expensive, making it a challenge to scale up and reach price parity with animal-based counterparts.
“Cultivated meat is still very expensive in comparison to conventional meat and the key is to reduce the growth medium costs to a minimum,” explains Amit Yaari, Ph.D., CEO of BioBetter. “Our target is to reduce the production cost of growth factors, including insulin, a key part of the growth medium, to $1 per gram which is a 100-fold less than the going rate today.”
“Our holistic approach not only underscores our commitment to safety and environmental responsibility but also streamlines regulatory processes,” reveals Dana Yarden, M.D., co-founder of BioBetter. “Our commitment to sustainability shines through in every facet of our operations. We plan to use recycled and low-quality water for irrigation, minimize nitrogen fertilizer use, and reduce emissions and environmental impact.
The newly established pilot plant has the capacity to process 100kg of tobacco plant-derived GFs daily. Constructed in adherence to the highest quality standards, the facility meets all regulatory requirements for production of food-grade growth factors, including FGF2 and insulin. It currently is progressing through essential stages of securing approval from the Ministry of Health for food manufacturing licensing. The company is committed to scalability, adhering to ISO2200 and HACCP standards.