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UPSIDE Foods announces line of lab-grown ground chicken

April 28, 2023

UPSIDE Foods, the cultivated meat, poultry and seafood company, has announced a new range of consumer products made from real animal cells. Pending regulatory review, these cultivated ground meat products will broaden UPSIDE's commercial portfolio to include a range of delicious options, such as chicken sausages, chicken sandwiches and dumplings. In addition, UPSIDE announced that it has developed a breakthrough chicken cell line for use in suspension cell culture that could substantially reduce the cost of production for these ground meat products.

UPSIDE Foods has been committed to developing a diverse range of delicious products since its founding in 2015, with the ultimate goal of providing consumers with the meat they love in a new and better way. This includes the development of both whole-textured products, such as chicken filets, and ground meat products with simpler textures that can be scaled up quickly and at a lower cost. The company will initially be launching at a small scale with its cultivated chicken filet, followed by this next generation of products.

UPSIDE has also achieved critical breakthroughs in its ground meat product portfolio, including developing a chicken cell line that does not require platelet-derived growth factors (PDGF), one of the most expensive ingredients used to support cell growth. Since introducing the world's first cultivated beef meatball in 2016, the company has been committed to refining its production methods for its ground products. In December 2021, UPSIDE announced the development of an animal component–free cell feed for some of its products, further demonstrating its dedication to producing meat in a way that's sustainable and humane.

"For us to realize the impact that we want to have, we've always known that we need to provide a portfolio that matches the diversity of formats and forms that consumers expect," said Dr Uma Valeti, CEO & Founder of UPSIDE Foods. "Our first consumer product, a cultivated chicken filet, demonstrates our ability to deliver the experience of eating a more complex and textured meat product. On the other hand, our ground products are extremely versatile and enable us to explore a range of exciting formats and flavor experiences, while also allowing us to scale faster and make cultivated meat more accessible. Both are exquisite and equally delicious, and we can't wait for people to try them."

"Our breakthrough in developing a PDGF-independent cell line represents a major scientific achievement in the production of cultivated meat," added Kevin Kayser, SVP of Research & Development at UPSIDE Foods. "By eliminating the most expensive growth factor in our process, we're able to dramatically reduce cost and increase scale. We look forward to leveraging the insights gained to drive future innovations and continue to work towards making all of our products more delicious, affordable, humane, and sustainable."

UPSIDE's ground meat products will be made up of real animal cells, along with other ingredients like herbs, vegetables, spices, and plant-based proteins. The regulatory process for UPSIDE's ground products, which are based on cells grown in a suspension culture, will be separate from that of its first product, an adherent tissue-based process for which the company received a landmark first in the world 'green light' from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last year. That product is currently undergoing review by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) for remaining approvals. Meanwhile, UPSIDE will continue working with both FDA and USDA to bring its next generation of products to market.

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