Cultured beef companies tout sustainability. Will it lead to commercialization? • TechCrunch

The market of Lab-grown meat, also known as cultured or cell-cultured meat, is expected to reach $1.99 billion by 2035, growing at an annual rate of 21.4%. Beef is poised to be the dominant segment.

The market got a boost last month when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave what amounts to a security blessing to cultured meat startup Upside Foods, setting in motion what many of these companies are working: accelerated commercialization.

The FDA concluded it had “no further questions” about how Upside produces its chicken from cultured animal cells and said it was working with other cultured meat companies in other countries. other pre-market consultation discussions.

However, cultured meat continues to struggle with costs, primarily the cost of manufacturing the products, which means price parity with traditional meat isn’t likely to happen anytime soon. There is also the very important perspective of taste: will people really want to eat these products?

As companies work on taste, they are also making a case for the sustainability of the cultured meat industry. A report from the Good Food Institute last year showed that cultured meat production processes could significantly reduce both global warming and land use. For beef, this can mean, in some cases, reductions of more than 80% in environmental impact compared to traditional beef production.

Today, cultured meat startup SCiFi Foods, which raised $22 million this summer, revealed the results of an analysis it conducted with The Ohio State University. He showed that 1 kilogram of his SCiFi burger had less environmental impact than a traditional beef patty.

SCiFi’s burger consists of cultured beef cells and plant-based ingredients, such as water and soy protein isolate, and its production has shown an overall reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 88.5%, while reducing energy consumption by 37.7%, land use by 90.6% and water use. 96.9%, according to a press release.

The company says it is the first to have a study like this to prove its sustainability claims. SCiFi co-founder and CEO Joshua March told TechCrunch via email that “all previous studies were done on generic, non-specific cultured meat (pork, chicken, etc.). This is the first study that clearly outlines and quantifies in detail the lasting benefits of cultured beef cells. What makes it even more exciting is the potential for us to make our numbers even more impactful by using renewable energy sources.

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