Cultured Beef

First lab-grown meat could hit stores in 2021

Image credit: mosa meat

A company has raised €7.5m (£6.7m) to start commercial production of lab-grown meat in the hope it can be brought to market by 2021.

Dutch start up Mosa Meat, a spin-off company from Maastricht University, will use the funding to develop an end-to-end process for cultured meat production at significantly reduced cost.

While the first lab grown burger was produced and eaten in 2013, it cost around $325,000 to make so could not be produced commercially. The new funding co-led by M Ventures and Bell Food Group will be used to construct a pilot production plant for the introduction of the first products in 2021.

“Replacing traditional meat production with cultured meat would have a huge impact on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, it would free up a large amount of resources that are now used for meat production worldwide and will completely disrupt an old-established and currently unsustainable industry,” said Alexander Hoffmann, principal at M Ventures. “We’re incredibly excited to be leading this investment into Mosa Meat, a company at the unique cross-section of food and biotech”.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) recently estimated that livestock rearing accounts for about 14.5 per cent of carbon emissions produced by human activities. It also uses up swathes of land that could be used to produce more energy and protein efficient crops. Meat consumption is also predicted to double between 2000 and 2050 due to increased demand from growing middle classes around the world, especially in developing countries like China and India.

“Meat demand is soaring and in future won’t be met by livestock agriculture alone,” said Lorenz Wyss, CEO of Bell Food Group. “We believe this technology can become a true alternative for environment-conscious consumers, and we are delighted to bring our know-how and expertise of the meat business into this strategic partnership with Mosa Meat.”

The “cultured meat” is grown from animal stem cells rather than raising and slaughtering an animal.

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