GLENVIEW, Ill. (WTVO) — UPSIDE Foods, the first company to sell lab-grown meat in the United States, is building a $141 million facility in Illinois.

The commercial-scale facility will be built in Glenview.

UPSIDE Foods is the first “cultivated meat” company to receive FDA approval to sell its products in the U.S.

Cultivated, or cultured, meat is genuine animal meat that is produced by cultivating animal cells and growing them in a lab, thus eliminating the need to raise animals on a farm.

Once the cell lines are selected, they’re combined with a broth-like mixture that includes the amino acids, fatty acids, sugars, salts, vitamins and other elements cells need to grow. Inside the tanks, called cultivators, the cells grow, proliferating quickly. At Upside, muscle and connective tissue cells grow together, forming large sheets. After about three weeks, the sheets of poultry cells are removed from the tanks and formed into cutlets, sausages or other foods. 

“On behalf of the State of Illinois, we are excited to welcome UPSIDE Foods to the Land of Lincoln and are committed to supporting their growth in the cultivated meat industry,” said Gov. JB Pritzker. “Here in Illinois, we are a hub for tech and innovation, thanks to our talented workforce and prime location in the heart of the Midwest. This new facility is a significant investment in our communities — creating new good-paying jobs while advancing our ambitious clean energy goals to create a more sustainable future. We also congratulate UPSIDE Foods on their recent milestone of being the inaugural company to commercially sell cultivated meat in the United States. Their pioneering leadership makes them a perfect fit for the region.”

“We’re excited that the next chapter of our journey towards building a more sustainable, humane, and abundant future will be in Illinois,” said Dr. Uma Valeti, CEO and Founder of UPSIDE Foods. “Establishing our plant in this region allows us to tap into a remarkable talent pool, a thriving innovation ecosystem, and a notable history of meat production. We are grateful for the collaboration and partnership that we have built at the state, county, and local levels in our site selection process.”

The 187,000-square-foot facility in Glenview will open with production of ground cultivated chicken products, with plans to expand to other species and whole-textured formats in the future. Millions of pounds of cultivated meat products will be produced at the new facility, with the potential to expand to over 30 million pounds.

As part of the State’s comprehensive incentive package, the company received one of the first Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) for Startups tax credits, which stipulates a goal of making a $141 million investment and creating 75 new full-time jobs.

In a recent poll conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, half of U.S. adults said that they are unlikely to try meat grown using cells from animals. When asked to choose from a list of reasons for their reluctance, most who said they’d be unlikely to try it said “it just sounds weird.” About half said they don’t think it would be safe.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.