Crop Trader ADM Pours Money Into Firm Making Meat Out of Air


·         ADM, Barclays and a Google unit lead $32 million funding round

·         Air Protein is using CO2, oxygen and nitrogen to make meat


By Isis Almeida, Bloomberg 

January 7, 2021


One of the world’s largest agricultural commodity traders is pouring money into a startup making meat from elements of the air.


Archer-Daniels-Midland Co., Barclays Plc and Google’s venture capital unit are leading a $32 million series A funding for Air Protein. The California-based firm combines carbon dioxide, oxygen and nitrogen with water and minerals in a probiotic production process that converts the elements into nutrients.


It all sounds very futuristic, but Air Protein’s Chief Executive Officer Lisa Dyson says it’s like making yogurt, a process that involves live cultures, but that requires no arable land. If scalable, the technology will help cut agriculture emissions and even improve food security as the product can be made anywhere independent of climate, soil and weather conditions.


“There’s going to be 10 billion people in the planet by 2050 and our current food-production system is one of the largest greenhouse gas producing sectors,” she said in a phone interview. “The meat industry is the largest greenhouse gas producing sector within food.”


The company will use the funds to start an innovation lab, accelerate product development and commercialization, as well as to recruit and build a “world-class” team, Air Protein said in an emailed statement. There’s still no set time line for when the alternative meat will reach the market.


Air Protein’s technology is “aligned with ADM’s larger mission to develop innovative products to meet growing global demand for nourishing foods and beverages,” Darren Streiler, the investment director of ADM Ventures, said in an emailed statement. A portion of the funding “will be used to accelerate required submissions to the FDA, product development and commercialization,” he said...


... Even meat giants like Tyson Foods Inc., America’s largest meat packer, have made a foray into the alternative protein sector...


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