REHOVOT, ISRAEL — Future Meat Technologies raised $26.75 million in funding through strategic partners. The funding enables Future Meat to scale up production and accelerate its R&D.

The cultured meat producer said it will begin marketing its chicken breast to consumers and foodservice within 18 months. Food category players such as Tyson Foods, ADM, Müller Group and Rich's Products Corp. all back the firm and it has capital investment from S2G Ventures, ADM Capital, Emerald Technology Ventures, Manta Ray Ventures and Bits x Bites.

“Cultured meat technology is the Apollo program of the 21st century,” said Professor Yaakov Nahmias, founder and chief scientific officer of Future Meat Technologies. “It required massive efforts of biologists, chemists, engineers and food experts to reduce the cost of cultured meat by over 1,000-fold in just a few years. We are proud to be within reach of cost parity with traditional agriculture without any need to resort to genetic engineering, ensuring the supply of safe, delicious food for coming generations.”

Future Meat uses proprietary technology to produce cultured meat directly from animal cells without the need to harvest animals. The technology is based on the rapid natural proliferation of connective tissue cells growing in stainless steel fermenters that continuously remove waste products to maintain a constant physiological environment.

“Cost-efficient production has been a critical focus area for the cultured meat industry,” said Rom Kshuk, chief executive officer of Future Meat Technologies. “This development is a major step forward in Future Meat Technologies' ability to provide affordable, scalable and sustainable products that can meet the growing demand for meat.”

The company plans to start production at its pilot facility in the first half of 2021 and is currently seeking regulatory approval in several territories. Future Meat also produces cultured fat. This removes the necessity for adding palm-oil or high levels of sodium for flavor, an aspect the company feels gives it a major advantage.

Future Meat also is developing cultured lamb kebabs and beef burgers.