BERKELEY, CALIF. — Cultured meat company Upside Foods, formerly Memphis Meats, has opened its Engineering, Production, and Innovation Center (EPIC) in Emeryville, Calif. The 53,000-square-foot campus is designed to produce any species of meat, poultry and seafood in ground or whole-cut formats directly from animal cells.
The facility has custom-made, patented cultivators that can produce more than 50,000 lbs of finished product with future capacity of more than 400,000 lbs per year. The innovation center has areas to mill and mix cell feed and to formulate, package and test products. It also includes quality assurance facilities with an office for federal inspectors to oversee the process. At full capacity the site will employ approximately 50 in roles across production, maintenance, quality and food safety, engineering and general plant management.
“When we founded Upside in 2015, it was the only cultivated meat company in a world full of skeptics,” said Uma Valeti, PhD, founder and chief executive officer. “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.”
The opening of the innovation center marks a major milestone in the advancement of cultivated meat production, said Bruce Friedrich, founder and CEO of the Good Food Institute.
“EPIC demonstrates how much technology and innovation has advanced within the sector to allow the company to move beyond lab- and bench-scale to this phase of production, and will bring about a new level of transparency to our food system,” he said. “Upside Foods continues to be a trailblazer in the industry, and their groundbreaking facility means consumers are now closer than ever before to buying cultivated meat in stores.”