The cultivated meat sector is active in October 2023, marking a series of groundbreaking developments that could redefine our food landscape. Here’s a closer look at the pivotal moments and insights from the month that could shape the trajectory of sustainable and ethical food production.
Perception has been a significant concern when introducing the public to new foods. As highlighted in a piece for New Scientist, there’s a pressing need to shift public perception and “stop making lab-grown meat weird”. Today, certain media representations, such as Vow’s unveiling of a Mammoth meatball or The Atlantic’s mention of “unicorn meat,” can sometimes make the sector appear more of a novelty than a serious food source.
The global protein consumption trend is on the rise, and meeting this demand will require a combination of animal, plant-based, fermentation-derived, cultivated, and hybrid sources. This sentiment was echoed by Cargill’s alt-protein chief, emphasizing the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for the industry.
However, it’s essential to note that while the U.S. will likely see more cultivated meat products, the production cost remains a hurdle. Combining lab-grown meat with plant-based alternatives can help reduce the price, making it more accessible to consumers.
On the international front, Catalonia has taken a significant step by investing €7 million in the Center for Innovation in Alternative Proteins (CiPA). This research center aims to assist companies in developing sustainable meat production methods. Meanwhile, questions about the long-term viability of lab-grown meat persist, even as investments in the sector reach record highs and funds like “At One Ventures” are expressing interest in our sector.
In the realm of companies and key players, IntegriCulture introduced its CulNet system, a revolutionary method that uses a central tank containing cells for cultivated meat production. Wanda Fish, an Israeli startup, secured $7M in funding to produce cultivated bluefin tuna, eyeing a market launch in 2026. Another notable development came from The Cultivated B, which initiated discussions with the European Food Safety Authority for the approval of a novel cultivated sausage product.
Cost has always been a barrier to the widespread adoption of cultivated meat. However, a significant breakthrough came from the Japanese engineering company Hitachi Zosen, which developed a process that slashes the production cost of lab-grown meat protein by about 90%. This could be a game-changer for the industry.
Legal and ethical considerations are also at the forefront. While no cell-cultivated meats have been approved for sale in the EU, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is preparing for their eventual introduction. The UK government is also exploring ways to expedite the sale of cultivated meat, potentially in collaboration with Israel.
Research continues to play a crucial role in the sector’s advancement. A new book titled “Advances in Cultured Meat Technology” delves deep into the technological advancements in cellular agriculture, offering insights into the future of food production.
See you next month!
Next events in Cultivated Meat
=> Cultured Meat Symposium 2023 – Thu, Nov 2, 2023 at 9:00 AM – Las Vegas
=> Singapore International Agri-Food Week (SIAW) – October 31 / November 02 – Singapore
=> Regulating the Future of Foods Conference – 23rd-24th November 2023 – Barcelona
Editor’s choice: Let’s stop making lab-grown meat weird October 31, 2023
“Perception is a major concern when trying to introduce the public to new foods,” he writes in a piece for New Scientist. “We really need to sell people on cell-cultivated meat.” But when Vow unveils a Mammoth meatball or The Atlantic writes about “unicorn meat,” however unseriously or PR-stunty, the … Read more
What is cultivated meat? October 28, 2023
Cultivated meat is produced when cells are taken from an animal and put in a bioreactor to replicate. The resulting muscle and fat cells are then formed into familiar formats, such as a steak or chicken nugget, usually using plant protein to add structure. (Eat Just’s chicken sold in Singapore, … Read more
Cargill’s alt-protein chief answers Food Dive’s 8 questions October 21, 2023
Global protein consumption will continue to grow. Filling that demand will take animal, plant-based, fermentation-derived, cultivated, hybrids and perhaps even innovations still to come. It represents a huge challenge, but one that I believe our industry will meet. Source: Cargill’s alt-protein chief answers Food Dive’s 8 questions | Food Dive
What Is Hybrid Meat And How Does It Differ From Plant-Based Varieties? October 20, 2023
However, despite the fact that the U.S. will most definitely be seeing more cultivated meat products in the future, the harsh truth is that lab-grown meat production is still too expensive to be viable from a consumer perspective. Combining it with plant-based alternatives not only helps lower the price but … Read more
Catalonia invest €7 million in CiPA hub to lead alternative protein science in Southern Europe – GFI Europe October 16, 2023
The Catalan Government have announced a €7 million research centre to help companies develop sustainable ways of making meat. The Center for Innovation in Alternative Proteins (CiPA), based across various sites throughout the region, has been funded by the Department of Climate Action, Food and Rural Agenda of the Generalitat … Read more
Lab to table: The promise and the perils of cell-cultured chicken October 15, 2023
The risk — for companies and for investors — is that there is no track record for such facilities, no history of using 100,000-liter bioreactors, which could be hard to keep clean and even harder to grow cells in. “You can break ground on a lot of facilities before you … Read more
When Will You Eat Your First Burger Made From Cultivated Meat? October 14, 2023
As cultivated meat continues to attract attention amid record-setting investments and regulatory approval, questions about its long-term viability are on the rise. Is lab-grown meat really coming to your plate soon? Source: When Will You Eat Your First Burger Made From Cultivated Meat?– Ethos
Where do hot dogs come from? A Children’s Book about Cellular Agriculture October 10, 2023
Successfully funded on Kickstarter in August of 2021, Where do hot dogs come from? A Children’s Book about Cellular Agriculture covers topics of future food technology for youth. Source: Where do hot dogs come from? A Children’s Book about Cellular Agriculture
Compagnies and key players
IntegriCulture’s Yuki Hanyu: ‘We’re a cellular ag infrastructure company, not just a cultivated meat company’ October 30, 2023
Enter IntegriCulture’s CulNet system, which deploys a central tank containing cells that will be used to make cultivated meat (muscle, fat, etc.) and a series of ‘feeder’ tanks that contain other cell types such as liver or placental cells. The feeder cells secrete growth factors (proteins that stimulate cell growth … Read more
Wanda Fish Nets $7M for Cultured Bluefin Tuna, Eyes 2026 Launch October 27, 2023
Wanda Fish, the Israeli startup making cultivated whole-cut bluefin tuna, has raised $7M in a seed funding round to accelerate production and scalability. The company is planning for regulatory approval in the US in 2025, and says it will launch in the market the year after. Source: Wanda Fish Nets … Read more
The Cultivated B Initiated Pre-Submission Process towards EFSA Certification for Cultivated Sausage October 25, 2023
The Cultivated B (TCB) began discussions with the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and officially entered the pre-submission process for novel food approval of a novel or non-farmed sausage product. Subsequent to the official submission, TCB will emerge as world’s first biotech company to apply for EFSA certification for cultivated … Read more
Japanese company slashes lab-grown meat protein cost by 90% October 19, 2023
Major Japanese engineering company Hitachi Zosen will start selling synthetic protein to artificial meat producers as soon as 2025, Nikkei has learned, using a process that reduces production costs by about 90%. Hitachi Zosen aims to start selling its synthetic protein to artificial meat makers in Singapore during the fiscal … Read more
At One Ventures launches $375m climate tech fund October 18, 2023
Helen Lin, partner, At One Ventures, said: “It’s going to take a different kind of thinking than what got us into the climate crisis to get us out. That’s why we’ve invested in founders coming from a variety of backgrounds and on a global scale, ranging from academics and scientists … Read more
Cultivated seafood startup BlueNalu bags $33.5m in series B round October 17, 2023
San Diego-based cellular aquaculture startup BlueNalu has raised $33.5 million in a series B round from “new and existing investors” according to UK-based venture capital firm Agronomics. Prior to this round, BlueNalu had raised a $4.5 million seed round in 2018, a $20 million series A round in 2019, and … Read more
Premium Roe: Can Marinas Bio’s Cultivated Caviar Catch On? October 13, 2023
Funding-wise, the company has managed to get support from the ProVeg Incubator and SeaAhead, and Leung said Marinas Bio is supported by Trendlines AFIC too. In a statement explaining why ProVeg picked the startup as part of its new cohort, the Incubator’s co-head and partnership lead Antje Rauscher said: “Cultivated … Read more
BlueNalu boosts Asia partnerships, targets 75% gross margin October 11, 2023
Speaking to AgFunderNews after extending strategic partnerships with leading seafood players in Japan, Korea, and Thailand, Cooperhouse said he remained confident investors would see a “rapid” return on a large-scale commercial facility deploying BlueNalu’s technology. According to a techno-economic analysis conducted last year, BlueNalu could achieve margins “north of 70%” … Read more
Profuse Technology unveils advancements in 3D cultivated meat growth October 8, 2023
Profuse Technology’s media supplements and growth protocols achieve an astounding 80% reduction in the duration of the muscle growth phase on 3D scaffolds to only 48 hours to drive a more sustainable and efficient future for meat production. Beyond the remarkable acceleration of growth, the technology also elevates muscle tissue … Read more
Lab-grown pork products coming to S’pore in 2024 October 6, 2023
Lab-grown pork might be available in Singapore by the second quarter of 2024. In the lead-up to its product launch, Dutch start-up Meatable held its first ever press tasting in Singapore in September. Its hybrid pork products are made of one-third cultivated meat and two-thirds plant-based protein, reported The Business … Read more
Extracellular Opens Europe’s Largest Contract Pilot Facility for Cultivated Meat & Seafood October 5, 2023
Extracellular announced today that it has opened Europe’s largest contract pilot facility dedicated to cultivated meat and seafood production at its Bristol site in the UK. A total facility capacity of 10,000L is planned for Extracellular’s pilot facility in the UK, with a production capacity of up to 50 tons … Read more
Laws, ethics and lobbies
Cell-Cultivated Meat Is Gaining Ground – Womble Bond Dickinson October 22, 2023
As of yet, no cell-cultivated meats have been approved for sale in the EU. However, the European Food Safety Authority (“EFSA”) has already been preparing for the eventuality of cell-cultivated meats. In a recent interview, an EFSA official stated that cell-cultivated meat would be considered a “novel food” and a … Read more
UK Government could speed up sale of cultivated meat October 12, 2023
Under current UK law, novel foods must gain authorisation from the Food Standards Agency (FSA), a process that could take between 18 months and two years. However, a deal with Israel would see the two countries collaborate on cell-based meat research, potentially allowing for cultivated products to be made available … Read more
New Book : Advances in cultured meat technology November 1, 2023
Advances in cultured meat technology reviews the growing interest and emergence in the field of cellular agriculture as one possible solution to achieving this. The book reviews the major technologies used in cultured meat product development, including cell line sourcing, cell growth media, bioreactors for cell multiplication and tissue engineering … Read more
Other alternatives to meat
What We Know About UK Plant-Based Meat Consumers October 29, 2023
After several years of exponential growth in the plant-based meat (PBM) market, this report takes stock of how consumers view PBM today, and what producers can do to increase market growth. To this end, we surveyed 1,000 people in the UK about their views on PBMs. Source: What We Know … Read more
Revolutionizing Plant Proteins: Scientists Unlock the Secret to Juicier Plant-Based Meat October 9, 2023
One of the most significant barriers to the adoption of plant-based meat alternatives is their often dry and astringent texture upon consumption.A team of scientists, headed by Professor Anwesha Sarkar at the University of Leeds, is pioneering a transformation in the texture of plant proteins. They are working to change … Read more