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  • Writer's picturePhoebe Fraser

Fork & Good hosts hybrid cell-based meet tasting in Switzerland

In Davos, Switzerland, Fork & Good has conducted the city’s first-ever blind tasting of hybrid cell-based meat.

The tasting saw 40 people test the cell-based meat products. Participants each received two small dishes distinguished by blue and yellow stickers. One contained 100% conventional pork and the other a blend of 30% cell-based and 70% conventional pork.

The event also provided options for vegetarians – who had the chance to try dumplings made with a blend of a plant-based pork alternative and cell-based pork.

Fork & Good's hybrid dumplings

The tasting was led by the start-up's CEO Niya Gupta, who said: “We are aiming to serve everyone everywhere with affordable meat so it’s exciting to get input in this open and democratic way. We had everyone, from a US professor to a Swedish nonprofit worker to a Chinese student – even a regular Swiss person walking in off the street looking for a beer. Their feedback has been critical to us as we continue our product development journey.”

Fork & Good’s co-founders said that participants at the blind tasting found no major difference between the two samples. An informal poll after the tasting found that more than half of the group preferred the 30/70 blend over the conventional meat on its own. The group was equally split when asked to guess which dish contained cell-based meat.

One of the participants, global data science leader and technology expert Richard Kerr, commented: “I wasn’t able to tell the difference between the samples, to the point that I thought it was going to be revealed that all the samples were 100% cultured. I love the idea and will continue to follow [Fork & Good’s] progress with interest.”

Fork & Good's hybrid pork meat

The tasting was a part of UnDavos, an informal entrepreneurship-focused gathering that takes place the same week as the World Economic Forum (WEF) conference – which takes place in the same city. Mark Turrell, founder of UnDavos and CTO of Fresh Solutions AI, invited Fork & Good to present their product at a “meal for the future” event. “It was amazing to physically experience technology being integrated into our food – the food in our mouths," Turrell added.

In addition to the tasting, Fork & Good was invited to the main WEF conference as a Technology Pioneer, one of 100 early-stage startups developing innovative technologies to address global challenges. Gupta participated in back-to-back meetings and roundtables, including a bilateral meeting with one of the world’s largest meat producers who couldn’t tell the difference between conventional meat and Fork & Good’s hybrid cell-based meat.

Fork & Good’s chief scientific officer Gabor Forgacs said: “Mixing cultivated meat with conventional meat has many advantages. It helps alleviate the rising supply chain and environmental challenges meat producers face. It also allows for the gradual introduction of cultured meat through products consumers are already used to.”

Founded in the US in 2018, Fork & Good launched its pilot facility in Jersey City, New Jersey. The facility is currently capable of producing six to ten times more meat per square foot than is currently possible by conventional means.

Fork & Good says its meat is ready for market, pending regulatory approval by the US Department of Agriculture and the US Food & Drug Administration.

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