Researchers from Scotland have reportedly completed proof-of-concept for an innovative technology that can grow meat in a laboratory, moving on to the next stage of testing in over 10 sites globally.
Roslin Technologies and the University of Edinburgh, along with the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC), have developed a new technology that can generate pig cell lines to cultivate meat.
Researchers believe it can help overcome a critical bottleneck in the commercial production of lab-grown meat, introducing a cost-effective way to grow cells at scale.
Demand for protein alternatives over slaughtered meat has been growing significantly over the recent years due to concerns around sustainability with respect to traditional farming.
Despite being in its early stages, McKinsey & Company estimates that the cultivated meat products market will be worth over £21 billion by 2030.
Karen Fairlie-Clarke, Engagement Manager, Roslin Technologies, stated that while there is a lot to do in meeting the parity with the economics of livestock products, the team is taking steps in addressing the production challenges of the cultivated meat sector.
Karen added that as soon as the ability to scale is proven, the next stage will be product development and validation before they further refine the product to become food-grade.
Commercially, only Roslin Technologies provides induced pluripotent stem cells that can be used for growing various types of tissues like fat and muscle.
Its cells can be grown in a suspension culture without any microcarriers needed for floating them, which is crucial to move from Petri dishes to larger-scale bioreactors, and helped the Scottish firm reduce as much as 61% costs in cell culture media.
Liz Fletcher, director of IBioIC, stated that making fundamental changes to the way food is produced and consumed will play an important role in making the sector more sustainable and help in feeding the growing world population.
Fletcher added that this collaboration is at the fore of building solutions to resolve these issues and help in creating a more efficient sector that does not depend on raising animals.