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·         UC Davis: Is Cultivated Meat a Viable Prospect to Feed the World?

“The societal need is to provide dietary protein for a growing population,” said David Block, professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology and professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering. “If the current food system can’t expand, we have to come up with alternatives.”

 

·         Edison Group: Cultivated meat market offers high potential and investment opportunities

Cultivated meat could outpace conventional and plant-based meat markets reaching $600bn and making up 35% of the global meat market.

 

 

Is Cultivated Meat a Viable Prospect to Feed the World?

 

by Andy Fell, UC Davis Magazine | Fall/Winter 2021-22

University of California, Davis - Jan 10, 2022

 

Alternatives to meat have recently become a hot area in food research, with major fast-food brands marketing burgers made from plant proteins that attempt to reproduce the texture and flavor of ground beef patties. But beyond these “impossible” products is another prospect: actual flesh grown under lab conditions instead of being harvested from an animal or fish.

 

Some see this “cultivated meat” as promising lower environmental impacts or a way to enjoy meat without the need to slaughter and process animals. In any case, it’s set off an investment boom in recent years as startups vie for the technology that could win an entire new food sector.

 

But is lab-grown meat really a viable prospect, or is it more sizzle than steak? Could it really make a dent in animal agriculture, or could it supplement traditional production? And how do the environmental impacts really stack up?

 

“The societal need is to provide dietary protein for a growing population,” said David Block, professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology and professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering. “If the current food system can’t expand, we have to come up with alternatives.”

 

Block leads a UC Davis team that was awarded a National Science Foundation grant in September 2020 to study cultivated meat. The grant grew out of the UC Davis Cultivated Meat Consortium, established in 2019 under the Biotechnology Program. With support from two nonprofits, the Good Food Institute and New Harvest, the consortium aims to meet needs of the new industry for research and growing interest from graduate students.

 

“I hope we can do for the cultivated meat industry what the Department of Viticulture and Enology has been able to do for the California wine industry,” Block said.

 

Growing cells at scale

 

People have been using fermentation to make food products as long as they have been making beer and wine — thousands and thousands of years. We use bacterial and fungal cultures to make products such as yogurt, vinegar and sauerkraut.

 

In the past few decades, the biotechnology industry has developed ways to use cultures of bacteria, animal or plant cells to make drugs and vaccines. The basic concept of cultivated meat is to take the animal cell technology from the biotech sector and convert it into a food-type process.

 

There are some important differences between the two, Block said. Food industry fermentation runs at much larger scales than biotech — hundreds of thousands of liters compared to tens of thousands. Food industry processes use cheap raw materials and sell products for dollars a pound. Biotech cell culture uses expensive, highly complex ingredients to keep sensitive cell cultures alive and make products that can sell for thousands of dollars an ounce.

 

Developing the technology, including new, inexpensive culture media, to bridge that gap is among the goals of the NSF grant to UC Davis. Other goals are to establish and evaluate cell lines that could be used to grow meat; find ways to create structure in cultured meat, for example producing something more like steak than hamburger; and carry out a full technoeconomic analysis and life cycle analysis of cultivated meat. Researchers will also look at how growth conditions affect the sensory qualities and nutritional value of cultivated meat.

 

A four-legged bioreactor

 

Ruminant animals such as cows and sheep already have an on-board fermentation system — the rumen — where bacteria convert plants into material the animal can digest and turn into meat and milk, said Alison Van Eenennaam, cooperative extension specialist in the Department of Animal Science.

 

“It’s a self-propelled, self-cleaning, solar-powered, cellulose-driven bioreactor,” she said.

 

Speaking at a virtual meeting of the Beef Improvement Federation in 2020, Van Eenennaam cited a life cycle analysis showing that cattle and sheep use a relatively large amount of land and have a large carbon footprint compared to other sources of dietary protein, such as poultry or pork, beans and pulses, or cultivated meat — although the latter is based on estimates as the industry is currently very small.

 

On the other hand, ruminant animals such as sheep and cattle can make use of food sources that humans can’t eat and can forage on land unsuitable for other forms of agriculture. Rangelands can also sequester carbon from the atmosphere.

 

The same analysis estimated that cultivated meat would have higher energy use than other forms of protein production, Van Eenennaam said.

 

“Essentially you’re replacing a biological system, the body of a cow, with industrial electricity,” she said.

 

The technological issues are challenging, and the full environmental impacts of cultivated meat, once all the life cycle costs of raw materials, water and energy use are taken into account, are yet to be worked out.

 

One future Block sees is cultivated meat facilities co-located with traditional livestock production — a fermentation plant at a feedlot, for example. The two might make use of the same plant-based feedstocks and have efficiencies in space, energy and water use.

 

“Will this be a viable alternative to traditional animal agriculture? That’s what we want to know,” Block said.

 

source url

https://magazine.ucdavis.edu/is-cultivated-meat-a-viable-prospect-to-feed-the-world/

 

 

Cultivated meat market offers high potential and investment opportunities

Cultivated meat could outpace conventional and plant-based meat markets reaching $600bn and making up 35% of the global meat market.

 

Source: Edison Group

via Beef Magazine - Jan 10, 2022

 

The London based investment research firm, Edison Group, released a new report Cellular Agriculture: Engineering the growth of alternative meats, which explores the growth of the alternative meat industry and the opportunity it presents. Predictions show that the market for cultivated meat will grow at a 41% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2025-40.

 

The global cultivated meat sector offers a prime opportunity for investors as it could outpace the market for conventional and plant-based meats, with Kearney predicting it could reach nearly $600bn in size by 2040 and making up 35% of the global meat market.

 

The growth potential for the cultivated meat sector is significant considering shifting consumer demand toward meat alternatives. The Vegan Society, a UK based charity, estimates that nearly half of the UK is already flexitarian, vegan and vegetarian while the pandemic has caused 25% of UK millennials to find veganism more appealing.

 

With the Vegan Trade Journal reporting that 51% of UK vegan consumers choose veganism for ethical reasons, cultivated meat offers a meat alternative in which no animals are harmed. And, with roughly a fifth of human-caused methane emissions coming from livestock, cultivated meat could also be more environmentally friendly than conventional or plant-based meat.

 

Covid-19 and supply chain disruption has particularly highlighted the importance of local food generation, and cellular agriculture can help meet this need with its capacity to be created in local facilities.

 

Interest in the sector is already building among investors. In 2020 alone, the sector raised $366m in funding with a further $1,570m in 2021.

 

Public funding of meat alternatives has received significant interest with companies such as Beyond Meat raising a substantial $1bn in March 2021. MeaTech 3D was the first cultivated meat company to go public with a $25m IPO in March 2021 and $12.7m also raised in private funding.

 

Cultivated meat is not just the reserve of small start-ups given that larger companies such as Tyson making investments into early-stage companies.

 

Nestlé also acquired plant-based food company Sweet Earth in 2017 and is working towards producing a cultured meat with Future Meat Technologies which provides the taste of conventional meat as well as the sustainability of cultivated meat.

 

High production costs have previously been a deterrent for investors assessing the cultivated meat industry. However, McKinsey predicts that the sector may reach cost parity as soon as 2030.

 

At the same time, the conventional meat industry has seen some of its cost advantage diminish as Covid-19 has driven up prices and redirected government subsidies elsewhere.

 

Investors have a variety of opportunities for entering the alternative meat market. There are pure-play producers such as Beyond Meat, which has a market capitalization of over $5bn, as well a host of newer entrants such as MeaTech 3D that could offer investors significant returns if they reach their growth potential.

 

However, larger distributors and servers such as Walmart and Starbucks also present an opportunity for investment exposure, as do large multinationals such as Nestlé and Bell Food Group which produces and distributes meat.

 

These larger companies have performed well during the pandemic and, over the last 12 months, share prices have risen ranging from 33% at Tyson and 15% at Bell Food Group. These businesses offer a more diversified product range and, though they may offer lower return potentials in comparison to younger pure-play companies, can offer a more reliable investment opportunity.

 

In addition, for investors who are interested in funds rather than individual stocks, Agronomics (ANIC) presents an interesting option.

 

Agronomics invests in environmentally friendly alternative food companies and, as the only UK-listed vehicle focused on cellular agriculture, it offers investors a unique opportunity to access this rapidly expanding industry. This variety of investment opportunities as the industry aims for cost parity makes the thriving cultivated meat sector an exciting prospect.

 

“The emergence of new technologies, such as MeaTech 3D’s current development of fully replicating cuts of meat with 3D printing, have the potential to completely alter the food industry and tap into global meat consumption trends. As consumers and investors become more ethically minded, the cultivated meat industry offers an opportunity to capitalize on changing consumer demands,” says Neil Shah, head of research at Edison Group.

 

“The cultured meat market potential is enormous, backed by global and systemic trends supporting sustainability, food safety and food security. New production technologies and products ranging from hybrid plant-based through to fully 3D printed steaks, like those being developed by MeaTech, have the potential to transform the future of food,” says Guy Hefer, CFO, MeaTech 3D. 

 

Source: Edison Group

 

source url

https://www.beefmagazine.com/beef/cultivated-meat-market-offers-high-potential-and-investment-opportunities