In the bustling world of food innovation, July 2023 has been a month filled with promise and progress, especially in the cultivated meat sector. The industry is not only gaining momentum but also shaping the future of sustainable and ethical food consumption. Let’s delve into the highlights of this exciting month.
The global landscape is witnessing exciting developments. After the U.S. Department of Agriculture granted its first-ever approval for cell-cultured meat produced by GOOD Meat and UPSIDE Foods last month, Aleph Farms is seeking approval to sell cultivated beef in Switzerland, while Re:meat has introduced the world’s first cultivated Swedish meatballs. These innovations are part of a larger movement towards diversifying protein offerings to meet the growing global demand.
Consumer interest in cultivated meat is growing, but it’s not without its challenges and misconceptions. Experts have had to clarify that the cells used in lab-grown meat are not cancerous, dispelling false claims and reassuring the public of the product’s safety. Meanwhile, the environmental impact of cultivated meat remains a subject of study, with questions about its potential to deliver on climate promises still being explored.
In the broader context, the shift towards alternative proteins is evident in Germany, where meat consumption has hit a record low. Research from Oxford University further emphasizes the environmental benefits of reducing meat consumption, likening it to taking 8 million cars off the road.
Investment in the sector is thriving, reflecting a broader shift towards healthy and sustainable food solutions. Joyful Ventures LP, a newly formed venture capital firm, is investing in companies innovating sustainable protein solutions, echoing a sentiment that food is the next big boom. This aligns with the growing consumer awareness about nutrition and the need for alternative food sources.
The cultivated meat sector is part of a larger movement towards ethical and sustainable food production. From lab-grown cotton to insect protein and vegan alternatives like “faux” gras, the world is witnessing a transformation in how we produce and consume food.
The commercial viability of cellular agriculture is further underscored by the availability of industrial-grade bioreactor, AUXO V from “The Cultivated B”. Engineered to be user-friendly, it allows production personnel to be trained in just a few days, democratizing a process once reserved for scientists. This innovation aligns with Ark Biotech’s plan to make cultivated meat affordable by reducing bioreactor costs, a critical step towards achieving price parity with traditional meat.
However, the journey towards a future dominated by cultivated meat is not without its roadblocks. The World Farmer’s Organization’s rejection of lab-made food emphasizes the tension between tradition and innovation. The EU’s novel foods regulation has also been cited as hindering progress in the meat alternatives sector.
It’s a story of progress, one that we are all a part of, and one that continues to unfold. See you next month!
Downstream Processing for Alternative Proteins & Cellular Agriculture Summit – San Francisco – September 26-28, 2023
July 29, 2023
Growing consumer demand, technology advancement, and VC investment are feeding into the billion-dollar market opportunity for novel alternative proteins and cultured meat and seafood. To fully realize this potential, the commercial and technical burden of scale-up and downstream processing must be overcome.
Path to Price Parity: Ark Biotech’s Plan for Affordable Cultivated Meat
July 26, 2023
“Cultivated meat is the most important landmark invention of our time, and bioreactors are critical to actualizing this historic change,” the report reads. A significant portion of bioreactor costs are fixed and most variable costs scale at a factor, says the report. “Reducing bioreactor spend is critical for reducing capital cost.”
Investors Order Healthy Food – Los Angeles Business Journal
July 24, 2023
In a difficult fundraising environment, the continued expansion of the healthy and alternative food sector reflects a growing consumer awareness about nutrition and its accessibility disparity. “I strongly believe that food is the next big boom,” said Jennifer Stojkovic, a general partner at Joyful Ventures LP, a newly formed venture capital firm investing in companies innovating sustainable protein solutions based out of West Hollywood. “We can’t eat air and we increasingly are facing constraints that are insurmountable with our current system.”
Debut of Industrial-grade Bioreactor from The Cultivated B Signals Commercial Viability for Cellular Agriculture Industry
July 22, 2023
TCB’s AUXO V bioreactors offer a unique combination of utility and sustainability. Unlike traditional laboratory bioreactors, AUXO V bioreactors were engineered and reimagined by industrial designers to make them easy to use by non-experts. With a human-machine interface and programmable logic controller (PLC) system from Siemens, production personnel can be trained in just a few days to use the bioreactor control system, something traditionally reserved for scientists.
Cultivated, Plant-Based Meats vs. Animal Proteins
July 21, 2023
‘Consumer reaction to these cultivated meat products will likely be a mix of curiosity, excitement and perhaps initial hesitation,” notes Justin Dranschak, a cell line development expert and the director of biopharma at San Jose, Calif.-based Molecular Devices, which develops the synthetic biology technology to create lab-grown meat.
Animal cells used to create lab-grown meat are not cancerous, experts say
July 20, 2023
Meat grown in labs is made using cells taken from animals, but those cells are not cancerous and there are many safeguards in place to ensure that the end product is safe to consume, experts told The Associated Press. The false claim stems from the fact that, like cancer cells, those used in lab-grown meat often go through a process that allows them to divide indefinitely. But cells must exhibit other traits to be considered cancerous.
Food and feed for the future – ISARA, Lyon (France), 1st of September 2023
July 14, 2023
Agri-food systems must evolve towards a pattern of sustainability and resilience to ensure food security and nutrition for all. The status quo is not an option. Major transformations in agricultural systems and natural resource management will be required to ensure a safe and healthy future for all people and the entire planet. The growing protein demand of the growing global population can only be sustainably addressed by diversifying the protein offering. The workshop presents and discusses challenges and opportunities for protein production from animals, plant-based sources, and novel protein sources (insects, yeast, and microalgae) and how they contribute to sustainable food […]
Here’s what we know about lab-grown meat and climate change
July 5, 2023
But whether cultivated meat is better for the environment is still not entirely clear. That’s because there are still many unknowns around how production will work at commercial scales. Many of the startups are just now planning the move from research labs to bigger facilities to start producing food that real, paying customers will finally get to eat. Exactly how this shift happens will not only determine whether these new food options will be cheap enough to make it into people’s carts. It may also decide whether cultivated meat can ever deliver on its big climate promises.
Why you won’t be eating cell-cultivated meat any time soon
July 3, 2023
After a decade of effort, hybrid may be a tacit admission of near-term disappointment, but it also allows the industry to dial back its hubris. This won’t happen overnight. To feed the world, cell-cultivated meat will take money and time. A lot of it.
Lab-Grown Meat Approved for Sale: What You Need to Know
July 2, 2023
At long last, a sandwich made with lab-grown chicken may be on the menu—at least if you live in the U.S. Last week the U.S. Department of Agriculture granted its first-ever approval of cell-cultured meat produced by two companies, GOOD Meat and UPSIDE Foods. Both grow small amounts of chicken cells into slabs of meat—no slaughter required. It was the final regulatory thumbs-up that the California-based companies needed in order to sell and serve their products in the U.S.
Compagnies and key players
Fat from cultivated beef and pork will take plant-based meat to the next level
July 31, 2023
CultiFat is derived from cell-cultivated intramuscular beef or pork fat, known for its revered white marbling found in high-quality meats like Wagyu beef. This unique intramuscular fat possesses distinct fatty acids that contribute to an unparalleled taste and aroma.
Aleph Farms seeks Swiss approval to sell cultivated beef
July 27, 2023
Expanding into Switzerland is part of an effort by Aleph Farms’ regulatory team in numerous markets around the world, with the company planning to launch Aleph Cuts in Singapore and Israel later this year, it stated. The company added that it is working with individual countries at this time, with no immediate intention to apply for EU regulatory approval.
Magic Valley and Biocellion Partner to Develop the Future of Cultivated Meat Research
July 25, 2023
Australian company Magic Valley Pty. Ltd and Washington-based Biocellion SPC have announced a partnership to optimize the efficiency of cultivated meat production by enhancing bioreactor design. Magic Valley says it has perfected a unique method that involves using a minor skin biopsy from a living animal to create cultivated meat in a fetal bovine serum
Re:meat Emerges From Stealth Mode With World’s First Cultivated Swedish Meatballs
July 18, 2023
Swedish cultivated meat startup, Re:meat, has emerged from stealth mode with the world’s first cultivated Swedish meatballs. Joining the bevy of cultivated meat startups, Re:meat is the latest to emerge from stealth mode with a novel product. The Swedish startup is working to develop what it says will be Scandinavia’s first large-scale cultivated meat facility
José Andrés Serves Good Meat’s Cultivated Chicken at China Chilcano: ‘People Are Going to Be Talking’
July 16, 2023
“I am proud that Good Meat is launching with José Andrés, beginning a new tradition of how Americans will eat meat in the many decades ahead. I am also humbled that our company can honor Willem van Eelen’s lasting legacy at this centennial celebration,” Josh Tetrick, co-founder and CEO of Good Meat and Eat Just, said in a statement.
Upside’s Cultivated Chicken Debuts at Bar Crenn: ‘The First Meat That I Feel Good About Serving’
July 9, 2023
For Chef Crenn, the event holds particular significance as it marks the reintroduction of meat to her menu since its removal from Crenn Dining Group’s restaurants in 2018. At that time, she took a stand against the detrimental effects of conventional meat production on the planet.
Joyful VC: Accelerating the Future of Humane and Sustainable Alternative Proteins
July 7, 2023
The team at Joyful VC is composed of experienced leaders in the alternative protein and vegan space, including Milo Runkle, Jennifer Stojkovic, and Blaine Vess. Together, the team combines their passion, expertise, and industry influence to identify and support groundbreaking sustainable protein companies, driving the global transition to a more ethical and sustainable food system.
BioCraft Expands Options for Pet Food Manufacturers with new Proprietary Chicken Cell Line
July 4, 2023
BioCraft’s proprietary cultured chicken offers all essential nutrients cats and dogs need, without chemical and bacterial contaminants, antibiotics, steroids or other hormones such as can be found in traditional meat. Derived from stem cells, BioCraft’s chicken is neither genetically modified nor immortalized. While it is common to license cell lines from third-party providers, BioCraft’s cell lines are wholly owned by the company, with the chicken stem cell line being derived by BioCraft’s in-house stem cell scientist and veterinarian Rupal Tewari.
Bluu Seafood reels in $17.5M to bring cultivated fish products to market
July 1, 2023
Bluu Seafood, a German company creating cultivated (i.e. “lab-grown”) fish products, today announced it has raised €16 million ($17.5 million) in a Series A round of funding. Founded out of Berlin in 2020 originally as Bluu Biosciences, Bluu Seafood starts with a “one-time” fish biopsy — which, it says, doesn’t require killing any fish — and then uses stem-cell technology to grow entire cell lines (i.e. fish species) inside a lab.
Meat-Eating In Germany Hits A Record Low
July 8, 2023
The central European country is famous for meaty foods like schnitzel and sausages. Its residents, however, are increasingly moving away from these products and towards plant-based alternatives. Figures from the German Agriculture Ministry found that that meat consumption had dropped to 52kg (115 pounds) per person in 2022. This was the lowest since calculations began in 1989. Just five years ago, the amount was 61kg (134 pounds).
Laws, ethics and lobbies
World Farmer’s Org. rejects cultivated meat
July 28, 2023
“The WFO strongly opposes replacing farmer-grown food with lab-made food stuff,” the organization said. “Such substitutes dismiss the work and contribution of farmers to sustainability and push consumers toward a homogenous dietary model that undermines the tradition, diversity, richness, quality and uniqueness of regional food systems across the planet.”
Mosa Meat and Meatable welcome agreement with Dutch government to conduct pre-approval tastings of cultivated meat & seafood in The Netherlands
July 17, 2023
Today it is being announced that cultivated meat and seafood can soon be taste tested under limited conditions in The Netherlands. The Dutch government, in collaboration with cultivated meat producers Meatable and Mosa Meat and sector representative HollandBIO, successfully created a ‘code of practice’ that would make tastings possible in controlled environments.
EU novel foods regulation ‘hindering innovation’ in meat alternatives sector
July 13, 2023
Novel foods regulation is a ‘huge hurdle’ said Leonie Jahn, co-founder MATR Foods, which is producing plant-based meat alternatives based on fungal fermentation. Europe’s approval process is “highly limiting what can be done and how fast and how viable the business plan is,” she said. “Also, for a university it is difficult to get the funding needed for toxicological studies; on the other hand it is important that we make sure the food we develop is safe.” That’s important, she stressed, given the contamination risks associated with fungi.
Eating less meat ‘like taking 8m cars off road’
July 30, 2023
Prof Peter Scarborough, of Oxford University, who led the new research, told BBC News: ”Our results show that if everyone in the UK who is a big meat-eater reduced the amount of meat they ate, it would make a really big difference.” “You don’t need to completely eradicate meat from your diet.” Source: Eating less meat ‘like taking 8m cars off road’
Co-culture approaches for cultivated meat production
July 12, 2023
The need and demand for sustainable, nutritious and animal-welfare-conscious meat substitutes has spurred research into cultivated meat production. Meat mainly contains muscle and fat tissue, which can be fabricated using various tissue engineering strategies, including monoculture and co-culture approaches in different scaffolds.
Other alternatives to meat
ProVeg Incubator Seeks Cultivated Octopus – “It’s What the World Needs Now”
July 27, 2023
ProVeg’s startup Incubator programme is inviting founders, whether those who may be able to cultivate octopus or those offering another solution to the problems in our food system, to apply to its twice-yearly programme. The Incubator is designed to accelerate innovative alternative protein products to the market by providing them with support including investment, mentorship, and a 12-week accelerator programme, with previous alumni startups including companies developing cultivated meat and fat products, processes, platforms, and ingredients.
How a more ethical “faux” gras could change fine dining
July 23, 2023
Demetrius Simms at Robb Report also published an article about Borgel’s faux gras in December 2022, stating that “the combined result appears similar to traditional foie gras, but has a creamier texture.” Simms also argues that there is a health benefit in the trade-off, as the vegan alternative contains less fat. He further reports that Gourmey, a French start-up specializing in plant-based foods and cultivated meat, is also presently “working on a lab-grown version [of foie gras].”
Agronomics investee Galy bags USD50 million deal for lab-grown cotton
July 19, 2023
Cellular agriculture and cultivated meat-focused venture capital investor Agronomics said Suzuran will use Galy’s lab-grown cotton, which is grown from cells instead of plants, in products such as cosmetic cotton and cotton sheets, and medical products such as gauze and absorbent cotton for medical and consumer use.
Insect protein giant Ÿnsect targets profitability with a new CEO and new company strategy
July 15, 2023
Hubert founded Ÿnsect in 2011 and has so far been involved in all aspects of the company’s development, from research to the construction of its production facility in Amiens, France. The company currently operates its vertical mealworm farms in France and the US, and has plans for expansion to other continents. S
Japan Looks To Attract Vegan Tourists With More Plant-Based Food
July 6, 2023
It’s been found that 89.5 percent of foreign visitors to Japan say that eating Japanese food is a primary motivation for their trip. But for plant-based or vegan tourists, navigating the meat and fish dominant Japanese cuisine can be tricky or even frustrating. That’s why Tokyo and other major cities have announced that they are working to expand vegan options so that all visitors, no matter what their food preferences, can enjoy the acclaimed gastronomy.