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Novel Farms Promotes First Cultivated Pork Loin

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Berkeley, California-based Novel Farms has unveiled the first marbled cultivated pork loin, which will provide a supply of animal protein while offering human health, environmental and animal welfare benefits.

While the majority of cultivated meat companies focus on making sausages or burgers, only a handful of companies in the world have been able to showcase pork or beef structured prototypes. Novel Farms will join this group by creating a cultivated pork loin that displays the marbling and texture of a real muscle cut.

Novel Farms solves the structuring problem by developing a proprietary microbial fermentation approach to produce low-cost, edible and customizable scaffolds. The tissue development platform gives it an important advantage by not only providing them with the capability to structure meat from any animal species but also doing it in a very cost-effective way.

While scaffolding biomaterials such as alginate need to undergo costly functionalization to ensure effective cell attachment, their scaffolding process completely bypasses this step, reducing production costs by 99.27 percent and thus accelerating the path to the commercialization of their products at price parity.

The founders, Nieves Martinez Marshall and Michelle Lu, met while working as postdoctoral scientists in the molecular and cell biology department at the University of California at Berkeley prior to launching the company in 2020.

Their combined experience of more than 30 years in research was key in the ideation of an elegant and unique structuring approach for producing cultivated meat, which has been awarded a highly competitive grant from the National Science Foundation through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program (phase I) in 2021.

“Our goal is to accelerate the widespread adoption of cultivated meat and its benefits by producing ‘hard-to-resist’ whole muscle cuts,” Martinez Marshall said. “Therefore, we need to be able to fulfill consumer demand by delivering cultivated meat with the same fibrous texture and mouthfeel as conventional cuts from an animal.”

Novel Farms has raised $1.4 million in a pre-seed round with participation of Big Idea Ventures Joyance, Social Starts, Sustainable Food Ventures, Good Startup, CULT foods and strategic angel investors.

Novel Farms is dedicated to craft whole cuts of cultivated meat delicacies and bring culinary excellence and sustainability into the future of food. By cultivating meat from conventional as well as highly prized animal breeds, it seeks to captivate the palates of all meat lovers while satisfying environmentally-conscious eaters.

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