Project ‘Feed for Meat’ receives a grant of almost EUR 2M to advance cellular agriculture and bring cultivated beef to the EU market. ‘Feed for Meat’ aims to lower the costs of cultivating meat and further improve the sustainability of the cellular agriculture value chain. The REACT-EU support was granted for research and development (R&D) into lowering the costs of cell culture media, the most expensive step in the process of cultivating beef.
The programme will fund R&D to specifically address the ‘basal’ or base media in which the beef cells grow. By moving away from pharma-grade products and instead using feed- and food-grade byproducts from Nutreco’s supply chain, Mosa Meat predicts it can lower costs of basal media substantially.
Nutreco CEO Fulco van Lede says, “The grant is an important step towards commercialization of cultivated meat. This project is perfectly aligned with our purpose of Feeding the Future. As we strive to feed a growing population in a safe and sustainable way, we will need to utilise a variety of new and emerging protein production methods alongside traditional farming. I’m thrilled that we have received the funding as this allows us to develop inputs for the cultivated meat industry to produce sustainably.”
Mosa Meat, the European food technology firm that introduced the world’s first cultivated beef burger in 2013, closed its Series B earlier this year. Nutreco is a global animal nutrition and aquafeed company headquartered in the Netherlands and one of Mosa Meat’s investors. Nutreco specialists from its investment and development arm NuFrontiers, Nutreco R&D, as well as feed additive experts from its Selko brand will all participate in this project.
Peter Verstrate, Mosa Meat cofounder and COO, says, “We are honoured to be awarded this grant and look forward to catalyzing our research to reduce the costs of cell culture media. By replacing pharma-grade ingredients with food-grade ingredients, our team predicts cost reductions in the order of 100 times. Support from the government is a great contribution in bringing cultivated beef to the European market.”
The two companies are aiming for the highest yields in cell growth with the lowest environmental impact, by using byproducts from the food and feed industry and selecting the ingredients with the lowest environmental footprint. According to an independent Life Cycle Analysis study, cultivated beef production is projected to reduce climate impact by 92%, air pollution by 93%, use 95% less land and 78% less water when compared to industrial beef production.
The REACT-EU support recognizes the consortiums’ work to advance cellular agriculture and bring cultivated beef to the EU market.
The Feed for Meat project receives financial support from the European Regional Development Fund. Under the heading REACT-EU (short for REcovery Assistance for Cohesion and the Territories of Europe), the fund makes additional resources available for a resilient, green and sustainable economic recovery of regions after the Covid-19 pandemic.