Brazilian meat processing giant JBS is planning to build a laboratory-grown meat research centre following its acquisition of Spanish start- up BioTech Foods, Plant Based News reported on 18 November.

JBS’ first Centre for Research and Development in Biotechnology and Cultivated Protein would be built in Brazil, according to the report.

The São Paulo headquartered company – the largest meat processing company in the world – was also investing US$41M in a plant in Spain, with the aim of starting production, Plant Based News wrote.

JBS already operates its own plant-based food brand Panterra, which produces meat-free burgers, meatballs and other products, according to the report.

The BioTech purchase followed JBS’ acquisition of Dutch plant-based meat brand Vivera Foods for US$341M in April.

“This acquisition is an important step to strengthen our global plant-based protein platform,” JBS global CEO Gilberto Tomazoni was quoted as saying at the time of the Vivera acquisition.

Cultured meat is also known as cell-based, clean, or cultivated meat.

Established in 1953 as a family-owned beef company in Brazil, JBS is the world’s leading animal protein processor, according to its website.