A global competition conducted by XPRIZE titled ‘Feed the Next Billion’ (FTNB), has announced its six finalists for companies in the alternative meat industry. XPRIZE is a non-profit organisation set up for the purpose of running competitions to award industry leaders for seeking to solve various global problems. One notable finalist was CellX, a cultured-meat producer from China, among other cultured meat entries. This demonstrates the growing prominence of cultured meat innovations, pointing to a likely future of mass production and consumption from cultured meat.

Launched in 2020, the $15 million prize contest criteria was to develop an environmentally sustainable meat alternative option for reaching the future demands of meat products. Specially fish or chicken alternatives that replicate or outperform the conventional products given the rising global population. The six finalists were chosen based on their development of meat substitutes that mimic the appearance, taste, scent, texture, cooking characteristics, and nutritional profile of fish or chicken filet.

These six finalists were chosen from an expanded semi-finalist pool of 31 companies, representing a mix of cell-cultured, fermentation, and plant-based methods. Half of the finalists focused on chicken alternatives and the other half on fish. The finalists included CellX, a notable cellular agriculture startup based in Shanghai, China, which develops cultivated meat products on an international scale. They have since been awarded $414K as prize from this. Other finalists included Eternal, a fermentation-derived chicken team from Argentina; The PlantEat, a plant-based chicken team from South Korea; ProFillet, a plant-based fish team from Canada; Revo Foods, a plant-based fish team from Austria; and TFTAK, a plant-based fish team from Estonia.

The competition’s structure is based on XPRIZE’s analysis of global food system challenges, identifying 12 potential breakthroughs to create a food-secure and environmentally sustainable world by 2050, with alternative proteins identified as a critical impact area. Going forward, these finalists will progress to the next round of tastings. The winning team will be announced in 2024, upon receiving the prize money, will produce consistent meat alternatives that not only replicate sensory properties and nutritional profiles of conventional meat products, but assist in significantly reducing the environmental footprint from the agricultural industry.

As we see an increase in cultured meat production in the coming years, microcarriers can play a major role helping the scaling up of this industry. They provide the support structure to help protein cells grow more efficiently. What are Microcarriers? This is crucial for meeting the growing global demand for meat alternatives through a more sustainable and cost-effective method.

Original Article: Michael Wolf, (May, 2023) XPRIZE Announces Finalists For $15M Competition to Develop More Sustainable Protein, The Spoon – Tech