Netanyahu wants Israel to be a 'powerhouse' in alternative protein

As part of his vision to turn Israel into a pioneer in the cultured meat and dairy industries, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the offices of "Steakholder Foods" in Rehovot Wednesday evening. Steakholder is a publicly-traded company that deals with the development of cultured meats. During the visit, Netanyahu also announced the first marketing approval in Israel of cultured dairy protein that will be given to the Israeli international company, Remilk.

Remilk, one of the prominent food-tech companies in Israel, has raised over 130 million dollars since its establishment in 2019. The company produces milk protein through the fermentation process of yeast. The final product is a protein powder, which is the raw material on the basis of which different dairy products such as cheeses or yogurt can be produced, just without the use of cows.

Remilk recently received FDA approval and even marketing approval in Singapore. Being a new type of food, it requires approvals from regulatory bodies, and in Israel, it is in a long process with the food risk management unit at the Ministry of Health and with the regulatory unit at the Prime Minister's Office.

Remilk is not a consumer food brand, but a supplier of raw materials, therefore it contracts with major food companies in the world for production and distribution purposes. In Israel, it has an agreement with the dairy company, Terra. It is estimated that from the moment of approval, it will take several months until the first Remilk-based product reaches the shelves in Israel. The product that the company is developing is not a plant-based substitute for milk and is not flavored but actual real milk protein, which happens to also be lactose-free for the benefit of all.

In recent years, Netanyahu has been dealing with the issue of protein substitutes as part of his vision for the future of Israel and the entire globe. Several years ago while visiting an Israeli cultured meat factory, the Israeli Prime Minister proudly stated that "Israel will be an alternative protein powerhouse". His declaration on Wednesday appears to be a continuation of that quest.

After spending the day tasting different cultured meat and dairy products, Netanyahu said: "Today we ate fish produced without fish and meat produced without cattle. This is a global revolution. Israel is a world leader in the field of alternative protein and we will make sure that it continues to lead, and soon we will bring new approvals and new international summits that will change the world."

Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology Ofir Akunis, who accompanied Netanyahu, added that "the Ministerial Committee for Science and Technology will include a government plan, with the cooperation of representatives of the private sector. The plan, which will be presented to the Prime Minister and then to the Cabinet Plenum, will deal with the encouragement of Israeli industry, regulation, and investments in research to ensure the clear advantages of Israeli industry in the field, which is rapidly developing into one of our main export areas."

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