Maple Leaf invests in the cultured meat industry

TORONTO — Cultured meat startup Evolved Meats (formerly CaroMeats) has raised $2 million in seed funding. The round, which is led by Maple Leaf Foods Inc. , product development and initial expansion of production operations.

Evolved has developed a species-neutral platform to grow whole cuts of meat that are structurally and biochemically identical to conventional cuts of meat. It aims to take advantage of its ability to grow functional tissues to become a low-cost starter in the cultured meat space.

The startup’s approach is enabled by provisionally patented innovations in tissue engineering developed by Alireza Shaheen, CEO of Evolved Meats, while doing his PhD and postdoctoral work at McMaster University. His work engineering cell sheets has led him to create functional tissues that can be arranged to replicate any cut of meat of any kind. This discovery allowed him to recreate the fibrous, marbling, taste, taste, and nutrition of traditional meat directly from the cells, without the need for any external materials, such as scaffolding or binders.

“Our ambition is to reproduce meat in a way that is identical to nature by biosynthesizing functional muscle tissue and capturing the entire muscle and transferring it to the meat,” he said. “The proprietary technologies underlying our modular system allow us to do just that. However, reproducing whole cuts of meat is only part of the challenge. Our unique ability to create functional leans will help us increase our production while striving for price parity with conventional meats.” This combination of fashionable cuts and affordable prices will enable Evolved to lead a massive transformation of the food system.”

Global protein fund Big Idea Ventures has joined Maple Leaf Foods in a $2 million seed round. Garage Capital and Saltagen Ventures Inc. also participated in the fundraiser. and the University of Waterloo’s Velocity Fund and Strategic Angels.

“We are committed to supporting promising new technologies with the potential to feed people and protect the planet,” said Michael McCain, President and CEO of Maple Leaf Foods. “We are excited about the investment in Evolved, as they pursue their vision of producing grown meat production using their unique technology.”

In 2017, Maple Leaf entered the alternative protein market with the acquisition ofField roast meat companyand Lightlife Foods. It also invested in a vegetarian seafood processing companyCollected by Foods Corp.AndMycoTechnology Inc. ,A company that develops protein products and other ingredients using mushroom fermentation.