A cultivated chicken cell line has met kosher standards for the first time, after the world’s largest kosher certification body (OU Kosher) recognized cultivated meat as both kosher and meat.
The recognition followed extensive halachic discussions (relating to Jewish religious laws) and scientific reviews, where SuperMeat worked closely with the OU to identify important aspects of their sourcing and process to ensure it maintains the highest Kashrut (dietary law) standards. SuperMeat obtains their stem cells very soon after the fertilisation of the egg before blood spots emerge, meaning that no slaughter or blood are part of their process. They also avoid the use of foetal bovine serum (FBS) and another animal components in their media or process, which positively contributed to this recognition decision.
This is great news for our Israel-based portfolio company SuperMeat, whose CEO, Ido Savir, said “This historic initiative with the Orthodox Union not only broadens the options for kosher consumers worldwide but will also set clear guidelines for other companies in the cultivated meat industry”.
Since SuperMeat remains in the pre-commercial production phase, this recognition does not equate into an official Kosher certification just yet. Only once the company begins commercial manufacturing and products reach market, will they receive this. SuperMeat’s cultivated chicken products can then be available to Jewish communities in Israel and further afield, such as in the US, which has the largest Jewish population in the world after Israel. As well as the U.S, SuperMeat seeks to launch into Switzerland, after partnering with Swiss retailer, Migros and signing a MoU with PHW, one of Europe’s largest poultry producers to bring cultivated chicken, turkey and duck to European consumers.