Explore This Page:
Gfi research grant program

Explore our funded research projects

Explore our range of funded research projects, where we actively contribute to shaping the future of the alternative protein field and celebrate past successes. Our grant program is committed to scientific excellence and innovation, creating an environment that encourages progress and discovery.

Active grant projects

Dive into the dynamic landscape of groundbreaking initiatives shaping the future of food systems. These projects are dedicated to answering crucial questions, overcoming technical challenges, and sparking new opportunities—all with a focus on nourishing the world, safeguarding the environment, and fostering innovation.

Https://gfi. Org/wp content/uploads/2023/12/sci23066 pb featured

Neutron scattering during extrusion of meat analogs

With neutron scattering, this project aims to understand how plant protein melts solidify into fiber-like meat analogs during extrusion processes.
Https://gfi. Org/wp content/uploads/2023/12/sci23066 cm featured 1


This project will produce an animal-free source of nutrients from upcycled waste streams for fish cells, enabling reductions in the cost of cultivated fish.
Https://gfi. Org/wp content/uploads/2023/12/sci23066 f featured

Sustainable chicken mushroom mycelia production technology

Development of sustainable production technology for the manufacturing of high-quality chicken mushroom mycelium as a future meat substitute.
Https://gfi. Org/wp content/uploads/2023/12/sci23066 pb featured

Plant proteins: Structuring through processing

Integrating high-moisture extrusion and post-structuring technologies for improved textures from plant proteins.
Https://gfi. Org/wp content/uploads/2023/12/sci23066 f featured

TRANSFORM ‘Waste-to-Microbial Protein’

This project will develop new tools and knowledge on optimized, scalable, and sustainable fermentation-derived protein based on low-cost, food-grade carbon sourced from waste.
Https://gfi. Org/wp content/uploads/2023/12/sci23066 cm featured 1

Multi-omic profiling for cultivated seafood

This project will leverage multi-omic data to analyze several fish species in depth.
Https://gfi. Org/wp content/uploads/2023/12/sci23066 pb featured

Understanding cooling die scalability and protein texturization

The project aims to design practical variations of extruder cooling dies and study the impacts of cooling gradient, die dimensions, and mass flow rates.
Https://gfi. Org/wp content/uploads/2023/12/sci23066 cm featured 1

Genome-scale metabolic model of porcine cells

A genome-scale metabolic model of porcine cells will be constructed and validated to identify the most efficient way to feed porcine cells.
Https://gfi. Org/wp content/uploads/2023/12/sci23066 cm featured 1

Optimizing growth media for bovine cells

Dr. Betenbaugh is developing a model-based approach to optimize media to reduce the cost of cultivated meat and improve product yield and quality.
Https://gfi. Org/wp content/uploads/2023/12/sci23066 f featured

Sustainable proteins from agave bagasse fermentation

This project proposes a two-stage process using agave bagasse and tortilla industry effluents to produce single-cell proteins through fermentation processes.
Https://gfi. Org/wp content/uploads/2023/12/sci23066 cm featured 1

Model-guided optimization of alt protein

This project will develop and optimize low-cost serum-free culture media for cultivated chicken meat, using metabolic modeling and spent media analysis.
Https://gfi. Org/wp content/uploads/2023/12/sci23066 pb featured

Plant-based marbled meats

This project aims to address a critical gap in the production of meat alternatives by developing marbled plant-based meats.
Https://gfi. Org/wp content/uploads/2023/12/sci23066 cm featured 1

Conversion of fish fibroblasts to muscle cells

Utilize bioinformatics to characterize cell populations in fish muscles, employing this data to directly convert fish fibroblasts into muscle cells.
Https://gfi. Org/wp content/uploads/2023/12/sci23066 cm featured 1

Antinutrient-free plant albumin

This project aims to identify affordable plant albumins for culture media. Dr. Richards and his team will characterize at least six plant albumins that support fish cell growth.
Https://gfi. Org/wp content/uploads/2023/12/sci23066 pb featured

Macroalgae- and Maillard-derived seafood flavor

This project will generate ingredients from byproducts of algae polysaccharide extraction to improve the flavor of alternative seafood products.
Https://gfi. Org/wp content/uploads/2023/12/sci23066 f featured

Byproducts-to-lipids: techno-economic analysis

The project will publish an open-access techno-economic analysis (TEA) investigating a two-stage byproducts-to-lipids production system and modeling production choice trade-offs. The wet lab work will analyze organism lipid profiles under various growth conditions to inform the TEA.
Https://gfi. Org/wp content/uploads/2023/12/sci23066 pb featured

Enzymatic treatment of hemp ingredient

Dr. Simsek aims to provide value-adding strategies through enzyme modification for hemp processing by-products. This project will develop hemp-based protein ingredients with functional dietary fiber and reduced antinutrients.
Https://gfi. Org/wp content/uploads/2023/12/sci23066 f featured

Seafood flavors from fungal fermentation

Poor and inauthentic flavors of current seafood alternatives are a barrier to consumers’ acceptance. To address this shortcoming, the precision fermentation startup Nectariss plans to develop realistic seafood flavors based on the fermentation of mycelial fungi.
Https://gfi. Org/wp content/uploads/2023/12/sci23066 cm featured 1

Algal extracts for cell media

Dr. Minic and his team will screen algal strains to produce extracts for cell media, focusing on albumin replacements. This project will produce inexpensive algal extracts with high potency to replace albumin in fetal bovine serum, significantly lowering media cost.
Https://gfi. Org/wp content/uploads/2023/12/sci23066 f featured

A novel media recycling system

The project aims to develop a sustainable toolbox of edible fungi strains to obtain intact RuBisCO from green tea. It bridges fungi fermentation with leaf protein production from waste streams, generating two promising alternative proteins in a single system.
Https://gfi. Org/wp content/uploads/2023/12/sci23066 f featured

Mycelium fermentation

This project aims to use the immense diversity in mushroom-producing, new-to-food fungi to create improved fermented products. If the mycelium (the root network) has the same characteristics as the mushroom (the fruiting body), they can create tasteful and healthy products.
Https://gfi. Org/wp content/uploads/2023/12/sci23066 cm featured 1

Fish culture microcarrier nutrient delivery

This project will develop novel edible and bioactive microcarriers for scalable, efficient, and reproducible cultivated fish production. These microcarriers will allow in vitro cultivation of fish embryonic stem cells and controlled delivery of essential molecules for cell growth.
Https://gfi. Org/wp content/uploads/2023/12/sci23066 pb featured

Alternative plant-based seafood flavors

Dr Frank and his team are working to create more desirable plant-based seafood flavors. They will apply natural flavor chemistry pathways knowledge and sensory techniques to identify the most suitable flavor precursors for a range of plant-based seafood products.
Https://gfi. Org/wp content/uploads/2023/12/sci23066 pb featured

Alternative seafood flavors in storage

In this project the role of food matrix components in modulating the flavor profiles, nutritional/chemical properties, and oxidative stability of plant-based seafood formulations during processing and storage will be investigated. Lexicon to accurately describe seafood flavor(s) will also be developed.
Https://gfi. Org/wp content/uploads/2023/12/sci23066 f featured

Peanut meal solid state fermentation

Dr. Speranza’s project explores solid-state fermentation to develop a protein ingredient with enhanced functionality and nutrition from peanut meal, an underutilized, high-volume by-product. The ingredient will be used to produce meat analogues with a desirable fibrous texture.
Https://gfi. Org/wp content/uploads/2023/12/sci23066 pb featured

Reproducing salmon aroma

This project aims to determine the key molecules that contribute to cooked salmon’s odor and flavor and recreate these with optimal plant, fungal, and algal oils. The proposed solutions’ oxidative stability will be determined and possibilities for shelf-life extension provided. 
Https://gfi. Org/wp content/uploads/2023/12/sci23066 cm featured 1

Plant-based transferrin media substitutes

Dr. Stogios’ project will uncover plant-based additives for cellular agriculture media. The team will determine whether transferrin, an expensive but key component of serum-free cell culture media, can be replaced by proteins from legumes (like beans, lentils or chickpeas).
White adipose tissue, light micrograph

Making fibrous cultivated meat

Learn about Dr. Mohamadmahdi Samandari’s research to integrate intramuscular fat and textural fibers into cultivated meat at University of Connecticut.

Dark abstract background and pattern of interwoven hairs, fibers and nanofibers.  sponge detail texture, sponge texture closeup background.  cellulose sponge texture.  black and white

Melt-spinning marbled meat

Learn about Dr. Jay Park’s research on fiber melt spinning to biomimic intramuscular fat marbling in alternative proteins at UMass Lowell.

Close up plant epidermis with stomata or leaf epidermis (stomat

Hybrid scaffolds for cultivated chicken

Learn about Dr. Aline Bruna da Silva’s research on hybrid scaffolds to create 3D cultivated chicken at the Federal Center for Technological Education of Minas Gerais (CEFET-MG).

Assorted mushrooms

Turning mushrooms into fish

Learn about Dr. Olga Lucia Mondragon-Bernal’s research to biomimic fish fillets with fungal proteins at Federal University of Lavras (UFLA).


Low-cost differentiation medium for seafood culture

Learn about Dr. Rees’s research to develop low-cost differentiation media for cultivated seafood at Defined Bioscience.

Close up of mushroom

Controlling texture of filamentous fungi

Learn about Dr. Leonie Johanna Jahn’s research to control the texture of filamentous fungi for mycelium-based whole-cut meats at DTU Biosustain.

Raw plant-based patty

Stacking plant protein sheets

Learn about Dr. Hanry Yu’s research to recreate the texture of thick animal meats by stacking layers of plant protein sheets at A*STAR.

Spiny lobster eggs

Differentiation and cell lines for cultivated carp

Learn about Dr. Mukunda Goswami’s research to develop cell lines from carp and characterize their differentiation at the Indian Council of Agricultural Research.

Sardines fish

3D Printing pulses into fish

Learn about Dr. Luciano Paulino Silva’s research on 3D printing whole-cut fish and seafood from pulses at Embrapa.

Scientist working

Electrospinning plant protein fibers

Learn about Dr. Fabiana Perrechil Bonsanto’s research at Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP) to create whole cuts of plant-based meat from electrospinning.

Cross sections of plant stem under microscope view show structure of parenchyma cells for education botany.

Diversifying cultivated meats

Learn about Dr. Kelly Schultz’s research to develop hybrid scaffolds for cultivated meat structuring, nutrient sensing, and scaleup at Lehigh University.

Clouds over a field of windmills

Self-aggregating proteins

Learn about Dr. Lutz Grossmann’s research to use self-aggregating proteins to develop a low-energy extrusion process for whole-cut plant-based meats at UMass Amherst.

Micrograph of skeletal muscle

Assembling organoids into meat

Learn about Dr. Iftach Nachman’s research to assemble skeletal muscle organoid building blocks into thick whole-cuts at Tel Aviv University.

Fresh fava beans in a bowl

Texturizing proteins and fiber

GFI grantee Dr. Girish Ganjyal at Washington State University is texturizing proteins and fiber to make better plant-based meat.

Kathleen chen and stephanie kawecki in dr.  rowat’s lab – when dr.  rowat was awarded a research grant from gfi, only one of her graduate students was interested in cultivated meat: now, more are getting involved and introducing other students to new research opportunities.


Rooted in science, growing exponential impact

Scientists are using GFI funding to create the next wave of plant-based and cultivated meat.

Previous grant projects

Reflect on the research successes that have contributed to the advancement of a healthy, sustainable, and equitable food system. These initiatives have answered fundamental questions and paved the way for continued exploration and growth in addressing critical challenges.

Https://gfi. Org/wp content/uploads/2023/12/sci23066 cm featured 1

The Frozen Farmyard: A cell line repository

Learn about Dr. Gareth Sullivan’s work to develop a “frozen farmyard” cell line repository for cultivated meat.
Https://gfi. Org/wp content/uploads/2023/12/sci23066 cm featured 1

Modeling cells and bioreactor hydrodynamics

This project will optimize large-scale fermenter design and operating conditions. The team will model cell growth, fluid dynamics, and cell viability during scale up. Simultaneously, they will use flow chambers to understand cells’ reaction to physical and chemical stresses.
A redfish is swimming in the grass flats ocean

Seafood cell lines

Learn about Dr. Kevan Main and Dr. Cathy Walsh’s work at Mote Marine Laboratory to develop cell lines and methodology for cultivated seafood.

Atlantic salmon swimming in the ocean

Myosatellite lines from Atlantic salmon

Through the GFI grant program, the Kaplan lab is developing myosatellite lines for cultivated Atlantic salmon at Tufts University

Happy brown cows against a blue sky, representing a future with cultured meat

Making muscle cells

Learn about Dr. Ori Bar-Nur’s research to convert bovine and porcine fibroblasts into proliferative myogenic progenitor cells at ETH Zurich.

Rainbow representations of protein structures for a cultured meat concept

Lowering the cost of growth factors

Learn about Dr. Peter Stogios’ research engineering improved and lower-cost growth factors for cultivated meat at University of Toronto.

Happy chickens in a field, representing a future with cultured chicken

Optimizing media for chicken cells

Learn about Dr. David Block’s work to perfect growth media for cultivated chicken at University of California, Davis.

An abstract field of white molecular models

Formulating media with macromolecular crowding

Learn about Dr. Connon and Dr. Gouveia’s work at Newcastle University, UK to formulate growth media for cultivated meat with macromolecular crowding.

Upside foods chicken salad

Biomanufacturing scaffold-free cultivated meat

Learn about Dr. Yuguo Lei’s research to develop an integrated solution for biomanufacturing large-volume cultivated meat at Penn State.

Salmon meat texture

Machine learning for fish growth media

Learn about Dr. Reza Ovissipour’s research using machine learning to optimize growth media for fish cells at Virginia Tech.

Illustration representing marbled cultivated beef

Developing marbled cultivated beef

GFI is developing marbled cultivated beef with Dr. Amy Rowat at University of California, Los Angeles

New age meats sausages in pan

Smart scaffolds for cultivated meat

Learn about Dr. Oded Shoseyov’s research to develop cost-effective “smart scaffolds” for the cultivated meat industry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Colorful wooden building blocks

Cellular building blocks

Learn about Dr. Marcelle Machluf’s work designing cellular building blocks for cultivated meat with at Technion – Israel Institute of Technology.

3d printer in action, representing bioprinting concept

3-D printing bioinks

Learn about GFI grantee Dr. Sara Oliveira’s work 3D bioprinting scaffolds for cultivated meat the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory in Portugal.

Plant cells under a microscope, representing scaffolding for cultured meat

Plant-based scaffolds

GFI is building plant-based tissue scaffolds for cultivated meat with Dr. Masatoshi Suzuki at University of Wisconsin, Madison

Plant-based chicken in a skillet top down view

Tissue-engineering whole-cut chicken

Learn about Dr. Vivian Feddern’s research to tissue-engineer whole-cut chicken at Embrapa.

Sea creature

3D fiber scaffolds for shrimp

Learn about Dr. Nataraja Yadavalli’s research to develop edible nanofiber scaffolds for Pacific white shrimp at CytoNest.

Closeup red bubbles oil with soft focus and blurred background ,

Reducing cell culture media cost

Learn about Dr. Burridge’s research to produce low-cost animal skeletal muscle cells at Northwestern University.

Algae closeup

Algae scaffolds for cultivated fish

Learn about Dr. Federico Ferreira’s research to develop scaffolds for cultivated fish from algae and plant materials at University of Lisbon.

Biosensor concept for monitoring cultivated meat production in real time

Integrating sensors into bioreactors

GFI grantees Dr. Ivana Gadjanski and Dr. Vasa Radonic are integrating sensors into bioreactors for cultivated meat production.

Steel fermentation tanks, representing bioreactors for cultivated meat production

Designing cost-effective bioreactors

Learn about Dr. Marianne Ellis’s work at University of Bath to reduce the cost of bioreactors for cultivated meat production.

Pattern of cells, representing cell culture for meat cultivation

Co-culturing cells

GFI grantee Dr. Mariana Petronela Hanga is researching culturing different cell types at the same time.

Abstract representation of computational modeling for cultured meat

Computational modeling

GFI grantee Dr. Simon Kahan at the Cultivated Meat Modeling Consortium is using computational modeling to improve bioreactor design for meat cultivation.

Field of sorghum rows

Breeding peas and sorghum

Learn about Dr. Dil Thavarajah’s work at Clemson University to breed organic pulse and cereal crops for improved protein biofortification.

Red, white, and brown quinoa in a bowl

Characterizing quinoa protein

Learn about Dr. Ofir Benjamin’s research characterizing quinoa protein for plant-based meat production at Tel Hai College.

Field of rye, representing agricultural sidestreams for alternative protein production

Valorizing agricultural side streams

GFI grantee Dr. Marieke Bruins at Wageningen University in the Netherlands is valorizing agricultural side streams for alternative proteins.

Field of cassava plants, representing cassava as an ingredient for plant-based meat

Exploring cassava leaf proteins

GFI is exploring cassava leaf proteins with Dr. Ana Carla Kawazoe Sato at Brazil’s University of Campinas.

Cashew apples sitting in a basket

Scaling cashew apple supply

GFI grantee Dr. Dionisio is researching cashew apples as a raw material for plant-based meat and solving scale-up challenges in the supply chain.

Peas in a pod, representing pea protein for plant-based meat production concept

Identifying pea protein off flavors

Learn about Dr. Jian Li’s work at Beijing Technology and Business University to identify off flavors in pea protein and improve plant-based meat.

Red seaweed floating on the ocean surface

Red seaweed protein

Learn about Trophic LLC’s research developing plant-based meat ingredients from red seaweed protein through GFI’s grant program.

Plant-based minced meat

Proteins under pressure

Learn about Dr. Ciara McDonnell’s work to establish high-pressure processing and high-pressure thermal processing parameters for plant proteins.

Golden oil droplets, representing fat encapsulation for plant-based meat

Fat encapsulation

Learn about Dr. Ricardo San Martin’s research incorporating oleogels into plant-based meat at University of California, Berkeley.

Sensors in a manufacturing facility, representing ultrasound sensors for food extrusion

Integrating sensors into extrusion

Learn about Dr. Filiz Koksel’s work at the University of Manitoba to integrate sensors into plant-based meat extrusion.

A plate piled with grilled beyond meat plant-based mediterranean skewers on a bed of greens and grape tomatoes

Microstructure engineering

Learn about GFI grantee Dr. Mario Martinez’s work at the University of Guelph engineering microstructures for whole-muscle plant-based meat.

Moody pile of peas

Functional protein fractions

GFI grantee Ms. Miek Schlangen is making functional protein fractions for plant-based meat at Wageningen University in The Netherlands.

Plant-based meat on a grill

Shear cell technology

GFI grantee Dr. Birgit Dekkers at Rival Foods in The Netherlands is developing shear cell technology to make whole cuts of plant-based meat.

Fork full of seared plant based meat on a grill

Creating fiber-like structures

Learn how GFI grantee Dr. David Julian McClements is developing an alternative to extrusion for producing plant-based meat at the University of Massachusetts.

Assortment of beans and lentils in spoons

Muscle-like structures from pulse proteins

Learn about Dr. Zata Vickers’s research to develop muscle-like structures from pulse proteins to improve the texture of plant-based meat.

Red seaweed

Texturizing seaweed proteins

Learn about Dr. Yoav Livney’s work at The Technion – Israel Institute of Technology texturizing seaweed proteins for plant-based seafood.

Natural texture

Connective tissue from plant fibers

Learn about Dr. Xiaonan Sui’s research to engineer connective tissues from plants at the Northeast Agricultural University in China.

Steel fermentation tanks

Fermenting flavor bases

Learn about GFI research grantee BZ Goldberg’s work at The Mediterranean Food Lab to develop better flavors for plant-based meat using fermentation.

Oats in a bowl against a blue background, a possible new ingredient for plant-based meat

Oat protein fermentation

Learn about cutting-edge research to use fermented oat protein to develop plant-based meat.

Three wooden spoons holding red, brown, and white beans on a dark gray background

Characterizing bean proteins

Dr. Caroline Mellinger at The Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA) is exploring bean protein as ingredients for plant-based meat.

Gfi research grant program

Research Grant Program

Looking for grant opportunities? Explore GFI-funded projects that are driving innovation and breaking boundaries in alternative protein research.