The cultured meat market and its future in global food

The cultured meat has evolved greatly since 2013. What was once a science fiction concept, produced in tiny quantities in research labs at astronomical costs, has now become an emerging industry, with companies around the world competing to be the first to produce successfully cultured meat on a commercial basis . measure.

Unlike many of the meat alternatives Today, cultured meat has the potential to create a product that is completely identical to conventional meat, containing exactly the same cells and tissues.

Over the past five years, cultured meat has grown from almost nothing to more than 50 companies competing to bring the first products to market, with more than $600 million invested in the space. In December 2020, the industry received a major boost when Singapore became the first region in the world to award regulatory approval for the sale of farmed meat products.

The European market brings innovations to the cultured meat market

Europe has experienced intense activity in the cultured meat segment. The sector was founded here when Mark Post from Maastricht University in the Netherlands presented the world’s first cultured meat prototype in 2013 to a room full of journalists.

Mosa Meat, a company created as a result of his research, has since become one of the largest companies in the sector, raising nearly $100 million in funding. Europe is now the second largest region meat growing companies and increased funding levels, behind North America (although it is third if Asia-Pacific and the Middle East are considered as one region).

European Union It also has one of the best-defined cultured meat regulatory pathways in the world. Cultured meat is specifically mentioned in the ‘Novel Food Ordinance’, which sets out a clear path for companies in this sector to obtain approval to sell their products.

Exciting but uncertain technology

Cultured meat is produced through a multi-step process. Biopsies are first taken from the animal, which generally does not emerge unscathed from the process. From these biopsies, relevant cell lines are isolated and transformed into stable cell lines to be used as starting cells for the manufacturing process.

Initiation stations Ideally, they are highly proliferative and can be easily induced to differentiate into the final desired cell type, usually fat or muscle cells. The choice of starter cells is a key decision for companies looking to produce cultured meat, and the report describes the benefits and challenges associated with the most common starter cell options.

The development of growth media remains a key R&D challenge we face cellular meat industry: It is currently very expensive to produce and many companies still rely on fetal bovine serum (FBS), a protein-rich whey usually obtained from animal slaughter, which is incompatible with large-scale production.

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