July 21, 2022
Israel to spend over $1m on academic research into new food technologies
Customers eat burgers made with “cultured chicken” meat at a restaurant adjacent to the SuperMeat production site in Ness Ziona, central Israel, on June 18, 2021.

Funding will be used to support more than a dozen studies

A new university grant program in Israel with a budget of over $1 million will support researchers in their quest for new food technologies.

The ministries of Agriculture and Innovation, Science and Technology initiated the program with an emphasis on alternative proteins.

The ministries launched a call for proposals last Thursday, in collaboration with the Good Food Institute (GFI) Israel, a non-profit organization that seeks to promote research and innovation in food technology.

The food technology sector is a broad field that includes nutrition, packaging, food safety, processing systems, new ingredients and alternative proteins. These include plant-based meat, dairy and egg substitutes, dairy products, cultured meat and seafood, insect proteins, and fermentation products and processes.

Many of the technologies used in this field are based on academic research. 

The technologies of two major Israeli cultured meat companies, Aleph Farms and Future Meat, are based on bioengineering research developed by their respective co-founders, Professor Shulamit Levenberg of the Technion – the Israel Institute of Technology – and Professor Yaakov Nahmias of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. 

Both are leading academics in the field of tissue engineering.

Ministry funding will support a dozen university studies offering science and technology solutions in the areas of cultured meat, fermentation processes and plant-based substitutes. 

These studies can be aimed at improving the final product or the production process itself, the ministries said.