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Extracellular opens ‘Europe’s largest’ pilot plant for cultivated meat

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Extracellular has opened 'Europe's largest' contract pilot facility dedicated to cultivated meat and seafood production
Extracellular has opened 'Europe's largest' contract pilot facility dedicated to cultivated meat and seafood production

Related tags meat free R&D

Food tech firm Extracellular has opened ‘Europe’s largest' contract pilot facility dedicated to cultivated meat and seafood production at its site in Bristol.

The new facility will have a total capacity of 10,000 litres with a production capacity of up to 50 tons (45.4 tonnes) of cultivated meat per year based on existing capabilities – predicted to increase to up to 100 tons (90.7 tonnes) per year.

Extracellular’s pilot facility operates as a food-grade production facility and is currently operational at 200 litre scale – 2,000 litre capacity is due to be operational by December 2023.

Multiple bioreactors

The facility will hold multiple bioreactors from 50 litres to 5,000 litres that will be available to cultivated meat and seafood companies through Extracellular’s development, scale-up and contract manufacturing services.

Founder and chief executive Dr Will Milligan’s vision for the facility was to eliminate the need for cultivated meat companies to develop pilot-scale facilities altogether, saving businesses millions of pounds in CAPEX, cutting years out of their commercialisation timelines and de-risking the scale-up process by providing “much-needed manufacturing expertise”​.

“This will allow cultivated meat companies to focus on their goals of developing great consumer products at achievable prices,”​ he added.

Dedicated scale-up sites

Following the launch of the Bristol pilot plant, Extracellular planned to support the development and commercialisation of cultivated meat through dedicated scale-up sites in ‘strategic geographies’ – including Asia and the Americas – in the coming years.

The intermediate and mid-scale capabilities established at the new contract pilot facility build on Extracellular’s expertise with a variety of animal cell lines. The food tech firm said it would be able to support companies from around the world from its site in the UK and are already supporting more than a dozen customers across eight countries and four continents.

Meanwhile, the JBS Biotech Innovation Centre – Brazil’s first cultivated protein research centre​ – is expected to open before the end of 2024 after construction work commenced this month (September 2023).

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