In a nutshell, our production process starts by taking a sample of primary cells from a chicken or fertilized egg. From this sample, our team selects ideal cells for developing a commercial cell line. The winning cells are chosen based on their ability to produce high-quality meat and grow predictably and consistently. This process is called immortalization. Once a cell line is established, we're able to draw from it for years - if not decades - to come, reducing the need to take additional cell samples from animals.
Once we have our cell line established and are ready to begin making meat from those small samples. To make UPSIDE chicken meat, we need to nourish the cells. We've developed a proprietary cell-culture medium, or cell feed, that's optimized for our cells’ needs and consists mostly of common compounds found in animal feed and human food, including amino acids, fatty acids, sugars, trace elements, salts, and vitamins. A primary difference between feeding a live animal versus feeding our cells is the size of the feed components. (For instance, while a live chicken is fed corn - which is made up of carbohydrates and protein - we feed our cells the microscopic carbohydrates and proteins directly, along with other components to facilitate cell growth.)
We place the cells and cell feed into a vessel called a cultivator. The cultivator maintains the right temperature and oxygen levels for the cells to grow and multiply. The cells start in small cultivators, and we gradually scale them up to larger ones as the volume of tissues increases.
After about three weeks in our cultivators, the tissue is ready for harvest. We remove the tissue from the cultivators and separate out any remaining cell feed. When removed from the cultivators, the color is slightly paler but otherwise similar to that of raw chicken. The tissue takes the shape of the cultivator in which it was grown (but just like with conventional meat, we can ultimately make our meat into any shape we want!). Once harvested, the meat is ready to be inspected, prepared, packed, served, and enjoyed!