A Turkish company has developed a novel growth medium supplement as a potent alternative to conventional foetal bovine serum (FBS) used in meat culturation and production. The novel plant-based serum is derived from microorganisms and will greatly reduce the cost of cultured meat production including for fish, beef and chicken. The patented technology and is targeted at meat producers as well as pharmaceutical companies that are currently using FBS technology for cell proliferation and differentiation in cancer research.
Rather than obtaining meat from animals raised on environmentally destructive factory farms and slaughtered in filthy slaughterhouses, cultured meat is produced by taking a small sample of animal cells and replicating them in a culture outside the animal. The resulting product is 100% real meat, but without the antibiotics, E. coli, salmonella, or contamination – all of which come standard in conventional meat production.
The technology provider has developed a novel growth medium supplement that is free of fetal bovine serum (FBS). While FBS contains all necessary growth factors for the development of an embryo, not all factors are needed to grow muscle cells. Microbes produce thousands of different metabolites that circulate in mammalian blood and play a crucial role in many aspects of mammalian health and development. Understanding and modulating the microbiome has the potential to induce cell proliferation and differentiation, which are the key processes in clean meat production. The company's technology focuses on the development of formulations composed of microbiome metabolites that induce cell growth, with the patented methodology covering microbiome metabolites for cell growth in cultured meat production.
Currently, cultured meat production cost is dominantly formed by two main ingredients: namely, FBS and Gibco Dulbecco's Modified Eagle Medium (DMEM) with FBS holding nearly 80% to 90% of the bill. By replacing animal-dependent FBS and drastically reducing costs, the technology has the potential to enable cultured meat technology to grow as one of the alternative protein sources in the market.
The technology has great potential application for:
As of today, nearly 8 billion people demand more than 340 million tons of meat annually. This number grows at a rate of 3% as wealth accumulation and population rises. Today, the meat market has reached a value of US$800 billion. According to At Kearney’s “How will Cultured Meat and Meat Alternatives Disrupt the Agricultural and Food Industry” study, the US$1.4 trillion market will be shared among cultured meat, plant-based meat and conventional meat by 2030.
Cultured meat will serve up to 10% of the growing market by 2030 and its growth will be faster than plant-based meat, reaching one third of the US$1.8 trillion market by 2050. According to in-house calculations, global cultured meat demand will reach to 2.5M ton by 2030. In order to produce this amount of cultured meat, a total addressable market of $28 billion FBS or FBS alternatives is estimated. A 10% market share opportunity could be as large as US$2.8 billion.
Benefits of the plant-based serum include: