UPSIDE Foods (formerly Memphis Meats) announced today the completion of its Engineering, Production & Innovation Center ( or “EPIC”) via a live webcast today.
The 53,000 square foot campus located at the Public Market, is “the most advanced cultivated meat production facility in the world” according to their press release.
The new facility, built at the former New Seasons Market grocery space, is designed to produce any species of meat including beef, poultry, and seafood—in both ground and whole cut formats—directly from animal cells instead of relying on raising and slaughtering animals. The opening represents a major milestone in UPSIDE’s journey to bring cultivated meat to the world in a more humane and sustainable way.
EPIC, which contains custom-made, patented cultivators, can produce over 50,000 pounds of finished product, with a future capacity of over 400,000 pounds per year.
Passersby’s will actually be able to peer into the facility and see first-hand how cultivated meat is made through the facility’s large, unobstructed windows. The first consumer tours of the facility are expected to occur in January, 2022.
Dr. Uma Valeti, CEO and Founder of UPSIDE Foods said, “When we founded UPSIDE in 2015, it was the only cultivated meat company in a world full of skeptics. When we talked about our dream of scaling up production, it was just that — a dream. Today, that dream becomes a reality. The journey from tiny cells to EPIC has been an incredible one, and we are just getting started.”
At the state-of-the-art Innovation Center UPSIDE will develop new product formats, types of meat, and production processes. At full capacity EPIC will employ approximately 50 UPSIDERs in roles across production, maintenance, quality & food safety, engineering, and general plant management.
“Today, our team at UPSIDE has made history,” said Dr. Konrad Müller-Auffermann, Senior Director of Engineering at UPSIDE. “This facility is a gamechanger not just for UPSIDE Foods, but also for the entire food system. I’m so proud of our team for helping to define the future of food, and I can’t wait to share our delicious, real meat with the world. ”
EPIC also includes industry-leading quality assurance facilities, where products are tested to ensure safety and quality. Like all meat and poultry facilities in the U.S., it includes an office for federal inspectors to oversee the process. EPIC has areas to mill and mix the cell feed and to formulate, package and test products, a modern kitchen for tastings, and office and conference spaces for the UPSIDE staff.
The opening of EPIC is the latest in a series of developments as UPSIDE prepares to bring its products to consumers. Earlier this year, the company rebranded from Memphis Meats to UPSIDE Foods, announced investment from John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods and a partnership with three Michelin Star chef Dominique Crenn, and brought on veterans of the food, biotech and technology industries including Amy Chen (Chief Operating Officer) and Kyle Vogt (Board Member). Most recently, they hired Dr. Bob Kiss, who has over three decades of industrial biotechnology experience, as Executive Vice President of Technology.
A replay of the ribbon-cutting ceremony featuring investor Richard Branson, Chef Dominique Crenn, and 2021 Mayor Dianne Martinez can be watched on YouTube.
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No idea what any of your words mean. Are you new to the English language?
I’m actually quite interested in this. Cultivated meat from cell culture instead of simulated and highly processed meat like what Impossible burger and beyond burger are doing. Current fake meat is just mashing together a bunch of oils, flavors, and tons of processing which arguably much less healthy than meat, but more humane. Cultivated meat would be as healthy and flavorful (hopefully) and still be humane. I’m willing to give this a try.