Today Meatable announced it has reduced the time it takes to create cultivated pork meat to only eight days, with the highest quality muscle and fat cells, thanks to a differentiation process that can scale at pace with lower costs.
Traditionally, it has taken farmers around eight months to rear a pig for pork.
According to Daan Luining, co-founder and CTO of Meatable:
“When it comes to creating cultivated meat, Meatable has demonstrated unbeatable efficiency in comparison to both traditional meat production and the cultivated meat industry average.
Last year it would take us three weeks to differentiate cells, and now we’ve brought that down to only a few days.
We expect to continue to reduce this time period further. Beyond this, we’ve created a product of the highest quality with the expressions of proteins and long fatty acid chains, essential to give meat its unique pork sensory experience.”
Over the past year, Meatable has been working to improve the efficiency of its process, while also increasing the amount and quality of its fat and muscle tissue.
Together, these components translate into products with the familiar bite, texture, and taste that makes them indistinguishable from traditional meat.
Cell-grown meat shows a cruelty-free food future
While food tech is booming in Europe, including meat replacement companies like Libre and Nosh, cell-based meat, also known as cultured, clean, lab-grown, and cultivated meat makes it possible to produce meat without killing the animal by cultivating its cells.
To create its cultivated meat, Meatable isolates a single animal cell and replicates its natural growth process using opti-ox™ technology in combination with pluripotent stem cells (PSCs).
PSCs can multiply indefinitely without alteration, giving them an advantage over immortalised cell lines which are more commonly found in the cultivated meat industry, but it can be challenging to change stem cells into more specialised cells such as muscle cells.
Yet, opti-ox™ technology makes it possible to overcome this, so Meatable can produce real muscle and fat cells that are fully differentiated in just a few days.
This is complemented by Meatable’s continuous perfusion process, which enables the company to work in a continuous cycle and generates cell densities of about 80 million cells per millilitre already, which contributes to superior productivity so the process is easy to scale.
The Netherlands ushers in the future of lab-made meat
The Netherlands are part of a bigger trend to nurture R&D in cell-grown meat. The country made history in April 2022 when the government awarded €60 million to develop a national cellular agriculture ecosystem – the largest-ever investment in cellular agriculture by a federal government.
The country is home to companies like Meatable and Mosa Meat, but Spain and the UK also have strong lab-grown meat ecosystems.
In July 2020, the EU’s Horizon 2020 granted €2.7M for the Meat4all project led by Spanish firm BioTech Foods. It aims to increase the production technology of cultured meat, work on market acceptance and carry out testing.
But one of the significant barriers to mass adoption of cell-grown has been the time it takes to go to market.
According to Krijn de Nood, co-founder and CEO of Meatable, the company has reached an important milestone in bringing cell-grown pork to market:
“We’ve now demonstrated that we have the world’s most efficient process, which is required to create products that compete with the low prices of conventional meat.
We have to be price competitive to achieve our vision of providing the world with harm-free meat. If we can’t achieve this, then it will remain something that only wealthy people can afford, making it incredibly difficult to encourage consumers to embrace cultivated meat in their diets.”
Meatable aims for its cultivated meat products to reach the mass market with a retail launch in 2025.
To learn more about the future of lab-grown meat, check out our session at this week’s Tech.eu Summit on Wednesday, May 24th, where Maarten Bosch, Chief Executive Officer at Mosa Meat will be talking about the future of food tech, along with folks from Paleo, Microharvest, and Food Labs.