Cell Based Meat

Cell based meat, also referred to as in vitro meat, lab-grown meat or cultured meat, is meat produced by cultivating cells, as opposed to farming animals . The technology to produce meat by cultivating cells is based on advances in stem cell biology and tissue engineering for medicine. Production involves four central components: 

(1) Muscle and fat cell isolation and culture 

(2) Xeno-free (free of animal components) culture medium formulation 

(3) Scaffold development

(4) Bioreactor design

There are more than a hundred cultivated meat companies around the world, yet none has reached commercial-level production in terms of scale or cost. Viable solutions for components 2-4 have to be developed, before cultivated meat can be made widely available at a competitive price. Good Food Institute (GFI) describes the state of development and the roadmap to mass production in its progress report as shown below[1]:

GFI counted 107 cultivated meat and seafood industry startups by end of 2021.

Predictions of market growth for cell based meat are shown in the graph below:

Forecast growth rates vary with uncertainty of development speed and consumer acceptance. The medium market growth for the 2020 – 2050 period is expected to be in the range of 15 – 20%.

Cultivated meat production uses salt in the culture medium. Growing cells ex vivo requires the same fundamental inputs as required in vivo: A mixture of a carbon-based energy source, amino acids, salts, vitamins, water, and other components to support cell viability and vitality. Inorganic salts are important in establishing and maintaining the osmolarity of the cell with its surrounding cell culture medium solution. Salts also serve as enzymatic cofactors and important components of receptor and extracellular matrix proteins. The minimal essential medium solution contains six inorganic salts (calcium chloride, potassium chloride, magnesium sulfate, sodium chloride, sodium phosphate, and sodium bicarbonate). Concentration of NaCl in the cell culture medium is approximately 0.64%.

[1] https://gfi.org/resource/cultivated-meat-eggs-and-dairy-state-of-the-industry-report/


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