In the ever-evolving world of food technology, September 2023 has been a month of significant strides in the cultivated meat sector. As the world grapples with the challenges of sustainable food production, the developments in this sector offer a glimpse into a future where meat can be produced without the traditional environmental and ethical concerns associated with conventional livestock farming.
One of the most notable advancements came from the meat giant, JBS. They have embarked on a new journey by initiating the construction of an R&D site dedicated to the development of cell-based protein. This Biotech Innovation Centre, set to be situated in the Sapiens Parque innovation park in Florianópolis, south-eastern Brazil, underscores JBS’s commitment to investing in this nascent industry.
On the corporate front, several companies made headlines with their advancements. Meatafora (Israel) accelerated its product development through new research collaborations, while Upside Foods announced its plans for a cultivated meat production plant in Illinois. Hoxton Farms, a London-based biotech, opened its first pilot facility, focusing on developing cultivated animal fat.
The financial and research realms also showed their support for cultivated meat. A consortium of Researchers were granted a substantial €1.8 million to tackle one of the primary challenges in commercializing cultivated meat: the cost of cell culture media. This media, rich in nutrients, is essential for feeding cells as they grow, but its high price has been a significant barrier to making cultivated meat a commercial reality.
In a landmark decision, the Orthodox Union Kosher, a century-old rabbinic kosher certification agency based in New York, certified a strain of cultivated meat as kosher. This decision marks a pivotal moment for the acceptance of food technology under Jewish dietary law, potentially opening doors for broader acceptance in various communities.
Governments worldwide are also recognizing the potential of alternative proteins. Following the food price instability in 2022, which highlighted the impact of geopolitical tensions on food security, countries like Singapore and Israel are investing heavily in the alternative protein sector. Their aim is clear: to develop more resilient and sustainable food systems for the future.
The month also witnessed discussions around the branding of ‘lab-grown’ meat. Jason Hall, who has previously named products for giants like Apple and Netflix, embarked on a mission to find a more appealing name for cultivated meat. With over 400 options proposed, it’s evident that the industry is keen on making its products more relatable to the general public.
The seafood industry, too, is undergoing a transformation. With the current challenges in seafood production, there’s been a surge in investments in startups aiming to offer sustainable seafood alternatives. These startups have collectively raised nearly $3 billion in recent years, indicating a strong market interest in alternative seafood solutions.
See you next month!
Next events in Cultivated Meat
=> The Future of Protein Production Live – Amsterdam – October 11th & 12th 2023
=> Cultured Meat Symposium 2023 – Thu, Nov 2, 2023 at 9:00 AM – Las Vegas
=> Regulating the Future of Foods Conference – 23rd-24th November 2023 – Barcelona
JBS pushes forward with fresh investment in cell-based meat September 28, 2023
Meat giant JBS has started construction work on an R&D site that will develop cell-based protein, marking its latest investment in the early-stage industry. The Biotech Innovation Centre will be located in the Sapiens Parque innovation park in Florianópolis in south-eastern Brazil. Scheduled to open towards the end of next …
Specifically, the research will target bringing down the cost of cell culture media, one of the key barriers to making cultivated meat commercially available. Cell culture media is the brew, abundant in nutrients, that feeds cells as they grow in a cultivator. It remains the most expensive element of growing … Read more
Orthodox Union certifies cultivated meat September 19, 2023
Orthodox Union Kosher — the 100-year-old rabbinic kosher certification agency based in New York — today certified a strain of cultivated meat as kosher for the first time, marking a significant step forward for the food technology’s acceptance under Jewish dietary law. Source: Orthodox Union certifies cultivated meat | Alt … Read more
The upshot: Governments around the world are more ready to fund alternative proteins in the wake of unstable food prices in 2022, a year that shed light on the effect of geopolitical tensions on food security. By developing an alternative protein sector, countries such as Singapore and Israel aim to … Read more
In his work at some of the world’s largest branding agencies, Jason Hall came up with product names for such companies as Apple, Levi’s, and Netflix. But when he started his own agency a couple of years ago, he took on a personal side project that was a little different: … Read more
Sustainable Seafood Startups Are The Catch Of The Day September 5, 2023
The troubled state of the seafood industry today may help explain why we’ve seen quite a bit of capital flowing to startups aiming to improve on the status quo. Seafood-related startups funded in the past couple years have collectively raised nearly $3 billion to date, per Crunchbase data. Source: Sustainable … Read more
Compagnies and key players
New Research Collaboration Accelerates Meatafora’s Product Development September 25, 2023
The procurement of research breakthroughs from the leading research university has yielded two pivotal milestones for the company. The first involves the successful development of an oleogel fat substitute that replicates the characteristics of animal-derived fat while offering improved nutritional value. This innovation is poised to bridge the gap between … Read more
Insiders Reveal Major Problems at Lab-Grown-Meat Startup Upside Foods September 24, 2023
The facility, Upside says, demonstrates to the world exactly how this novel meat is made. “We’re starting to show, from day one, what this whole industry is about,” Upside Foods cofounder and CEO Uma Valeti said in May 2022. “This is the opposite of very closely guarded food innovations.” But … Read more
Hoxton Farms, the London-based biotech developing cultivated animal fat, opens on September 21st its first pilot facility in the center of London to advance research, enable industry scale-up production and develop prototypes with plant-based companies and supermarkets chains. Source: Inside Hoxton Farms, The First UK Cultured-Fat Pilot Plant And Its … Read more
UPSIDE Foods Announces Cultivated Meat Production Plant in Chicagoland September 22, 2023
Situated in the dynamic community of Glenview, Illinois, just north of Chicago, our 187,000-square-foot facility – located adjacent to a nature preserve and also to major transportation corridors – is poised to redefine food industry norms. This factory will start by producing ground cultivated chicken products, with plans to expand … Read more
Raleigh biotech startup making protein not sourced from animals raises $3.5M September 18, 2023
Jellatech, a Raleigh-based biotech company, has announced an oversubscribed Seed round with $3.5 million raised. According to the SEC filing, eight investors were involved in the equity-only funding. The company, founded by Stephanie Michelsen in 2020, is focused on protein manufacturing, creating collagen that does not need to be sourced … Read more
The UK startup known for its innovative sustainable oils and fats technology, has secured an additional £2.3 million in funding to expedite the advancement of its commercialisation efforts. Noteworthy international investments came from the Doehler Group (that backed Chromologics) and Alianza Team, both renowned industrial food specialists. Source: UK biotech … Read more
UK-based bioprocessing company CellRev has announced a joint development agreement (JDA) with Saint-Gobain Life Sciences (SGLS), a global provider of fluid management solutions. The JDA aims to create the “industry-first” cell media rejuvenation process for cellular product developers and manufacturers. Source: CellRev and Saint-Gobain Life Sciences partner to reduce price … Read more
CULT Food Science Corp., a pioneer in the investment, development, and commercialization of cellular agriculture technologies and products, announced a partnership with Korean pet foods startup Everything But to supply cell-cultivated chicken for the company’s stable of sustainable pet food brands. In collaboration with Everything But, the Company will be … Read more
Cultivated Startup Omeat Launches B2B Ethical FBS Alternative September 6, 2023
Plenty is created using regenerative plasma drawn humanely from cows that graze freely on Omeat’s carbon-negative farm. Collected weekly, the process to extract the plasma is similar to human plasma donation. Unlike blood, plasma regenerates quickly, so the cows do not feel depleted. Source: Cultivated Startup Omeat Launches B2B Ethical … Read more
Steakholder Foods’ CEO, Arik Kaufman, commented: “With a fresh focus on a B2B model and our first multi-million-dollar commercial agreement with a GCC governmental body, Steakholder Foods is accelerating its path from R&D to commercialization. Further bolstered by significant new funding and key technological advancements, the company continues to establish … Read more
The next wave: Alternative seafood solutions September 26, 2023
This means future growth cannot rely on incremental growth in wild-caught seafood. And while aquaculture has been the primary source of new fish supply in recent years, it has not been able to keep pace with demand. So-called alternative seafood—substitutes for popular fish and shellfish such as tuna, salmon, and … Read more
Sustainable protein in the UK: an ecosystem review September 13, 2023
GFI Europe’s analysis maps hotspots of an emerging UK sustainable protein ecosystem. By implementing our nine recommendations, policymakers can create the enabling environment needed to help plant-based, fermentation and cultivated meat flourish in the UK. Source: Sustainable protein in the UK: an ecosystem review – GFI Europe
Laws, ethics and lobbies
Why ‘Climate-Friendly’ Meat Is a Myth September 27, 2023
The Brazen Climate Friendly Ground Beef Burger was developed under Tyson’s own Climate Smart Beef Program, supported by taxpayer funds. On its face, this might give the impression that the beef industry is finally doing its part to mitigate the effects of climate change by reducing emissions. But frustratingly, the … Read more
France makes fresh bid to ban meat names for plant-based food September 15, 2023
France unveiled on Monday revised proposals banning the use of meat names like “steak” and “spare ribs” for plant-based food made in the country as it seeks to avoid “misleading claims” of some meat alternatives.The first country in the European Union to attempt to impose such a restriction, France had … Read more
Research to improve animal product analogs is led by private companies and has only recently been supported by public funds. A shift in food policy is required to improve technologies to produce sustainable alternatives to animal-source products and reduce the environmental impact of the food system. Source: Public policies and … Read more
At his workshop, representatives from cellular agriculture companies, STEM research labs, dairy farms, animal rights organizations, and Indigenous communities convened to discuss the social implications of cellular agriculture. Specific topics of interest were food security, labor, and employment, power relations and governance, and animal ethics. In this commentary, the authors … Read more
Life cycle inventories were developed for four recombinant growth factors (IGF-1, FGF, TGF-β, and PDGF) produced using a novel bench-scale process. The functional unit was selected as 1 mg of produced growth factor. The results indicate that recombinant growth factors can have significant environmental impacts within cultivated meat systems, despite being … Read more
Other alternatives to meat
Study: Animal-Free Milk Generates 96% Fewer Emissions Than Dairy September 29, 2023
The results show that Bon Vivant’s milk generates 96% fewer emissions than cow’s milk, while using 99% less water, 92% less land, and 50% less energy. According to Bon Vivant, the dairy sector is responsible for 2.7% of global greenhouse gas emissions — more than aviation. Consequently, a shift to … Read more
Carrefour, Unilever & Danone Lead Plant-Based Coalition in France September 17, 2023
The French government has proposed a law banning meat-related terms like ‘steak’, ‘ham’ and ‘beef’ on plant-based alternatives made and sold in France, which is currently under consideration by the EU Commission. In light of this, the new coalition involves Carrefour, Unilever, Danone, Bel, Savencia, Andros, Bonduelle and Nutrition & … Read more
China-based cell-ag company Jimi Biotech has announced the successful development of the “world’s first” deer antler stem cell line, making it the first company globally that is capable of mass-producing deer antler stem cells through cellular cultivation. Source: Jimi Biotech successfully develops “world’s first” deer antler stem cell line | … Read more