Cultivated meat is transforming food production

02-12-2021 | Updated on 07-02 | | |
Through its novel technologies, cultivated meat cells are grown in the lab at Roslin Tech, producing induced pluripotent stem cell lines. Photo: Mark Pasveer
Through its novel technologies, cultivated meat cells are grown in the lab at Roslin Tech, producing induced pluripotent stem cell lines. Photo: Mark Pasveer

Expanding the cell lines for the growing cultivated meat market is continuing to receive financial support with an additional £1 million granted to Roslin Technologies from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

The funding, through the Transforming Food Production (TFP) Series A Investor Partnership, will allow the Edinburgh biotech firm to also develop new ruminant species lines and further optimise the pig cell lines currently on offer. It will also help the company develop new ruminant species lines.

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Roslin Technologies is already using avian primordial germ cell lines to develop for the generation of cultured chicken and has even produced its first chicken nugget prototype using these cells. Professor Jacqui Matthews, chief scientific officer at Roslin Technologies, said the firm had seen a considerable increase in awareness and interest for cultivated meat over the last few years: “Globally, governments and other backers have realised the potential for cultivated meat. It offers a new way to produce meat that is sustainable and helps to reduce the increasing protein gap as our population expands.”

Grown in lab

Cultivated meat cells are grown in the lab and at Roslin Tech, through its novel technologies, it produces induced pluripotent stem cell lines, which are cells that can be turned into any animal cell type, including muscle and fat cells for cultivated meat production. This can benefit producers and the industry as a whole as it can reach mass consumer markets faster and cheaper.

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In a recent blog, Matthews said the traditional meat industry is large, valued at US$ 1.3 trillion at the end of 2020, which means that the cultivated meat sector has huge capacity for growth into this space if it could compete on price and consumer experience with traditional meat. “Several industry analysts project the cultivated meat market to be between US$ 25 billion and US$ 100 billion by 2030. Cellular agriculture is innovating and growing quickly and having the right cells is essential, and that is where we can contribute to the sector,” she said.

Increase in awareness, interest and funding for cultivated meat

Jointly backed by public funding through UK Research and Innovation and investors, Roslin has seen a considerable increase in awareness and interest for cultivated meat over the last few years. Globally, governments and other backers have realised the potential for cultivated meat. It offers a new way to produce meat that is sustainable and helps to reduce the increasing protein gap as our population expands. Cultivated meat production has a considerably lower environmental impact than its traditional counterparts in both climate change impact and land use. At Roslin Tech, Matthews said the aim was to exemplify sustainability in its outputs, including:

 

  • Zero hunger
  • Responsible consumption and production
  • Climate action

 

Mcdougal
Tony Mcdougal Freelance Journalist
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