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  • Writer's picturePhoebe Fraser

CellX announces completion and operation of “China’s first” large-scale cell-based meat plant

Shanghai-based cultivated meat start-up CellX has launched “China's first” cell-based meat pilot plant in an industrial park on the outskirts of Shanghai.

The facility, named Future Food Factory X (FX), marks China's first large-scale pilot plant for cell-based meat, with a leading level of production costs “well below” $100 per pound, and the ability to produce ‘a couple of tonnes’ of cell-based meat each year.

The next facility for commercial production is expected to be constructed by 2025 and will have the capacity to produce hundreds of tonnes of meat a year.

man with bioreactor
Inside the CellX FX factory

CellX's pilot plant utilises its proprietary cell cultivation technology and operates with fully digitised intelligent management systems. It is positioned as “China's first transparent food space" for cell-based meat and integrates technology R&D, pilot production and interactive consumer experiences. The pilot plant currently hosts one line with a 2,000-litre bioreactor and has the capacity to host multiple lines.

Starting now, consumers will have the opportunity to taste and enjoy a variety of delicacies made from cell-based meat at the facility.

Shuangshuang Chen, head of R&D at CellX, said: "Cultivated meat technology embodies a safe, efficient, and sustainable approach to meat production. We can craft meat that is both delectable and nutritious, providing consumers with a superior alternative."

As part of an event on Wednesday (9 August) for government, investors and media, CellX served meat it had cultivated in its laboratory from animal cells. The offerings included kebabs and minced meat, both of which were made using cell cultivation. CellX said each dish costs less than CNY 100 (approx. $13.87) to produce.

In preparation for large-scale production, CellX's FX pilot plant leverages its self-developed suspension cell line and low-cost serum-free culture medium. These innovative technologies have successfully reduced production costs to below $100 per pound, which will be further slashed by 2025 market launch.

CellX co-founder and CEO Ziliang Yang commented: "Our costs are at around $100 per pound, but by the time we commercially launch in two or three years, the price could go down 10 times. We are diligently working towards obtaining market approval in countries like the US and Singapore, with the aim of launching our products by 2025.”

Currently, the company has screened nearly 20 immortalised cell lines by utilising a high-throughput automated system, with several of them already successfully adapted to grow in single cell suspension. It also marks the world's first successful single-cell suspension of fish cell lines.

CellX's approach targets the high-end market first, with plans to introduce products to the mass market as they continue to scale up and reduce costs in the future.


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