It won’t be soon that we’ll be buying lab-raised meat in our stores. The industry has problems
Private investment in lab-bred meat continues to grow. Various companies are outdoing themselves with promises of unlimited access to delicious nuggets, steaks and hamburgers made in labs and not from farmed animals. But we’ve heard these assurances years ago, and they still remain unfulfilled. Why? Development of the sector is blocked by a number of problems.
Start-ups working on similar projects have received in recent dwoch years tens of millionsoin the dollarow from a billionaireow as Bill Gates and Richard Branson, or giantow of the agriculture industry like Cargill and Tyson. However, according to someoExperts, there is a lack of funding for scientific research on synthetic meat.
There is undoubtedly growing interest in the commercial development of lab-grown meat because it is more environmentally friendly and ethical. However, many observersow says the industry lacks the research and engineering expertise needed to bring lab-raised meat to market. Moreover, much progressoin this area is often covered by trade secrets and patent rights by companies.
– There are many technical hurdlesod to overcome – mow Paul Mozdziak, a biologist at the University of Carolina Ponnight in Raleigh, ktory is engaged in research on chicken meatow and turkeyoin lab-reared. Amongod challenges lies m.In. Developing better lines that produce comorki and nutrients for feeding them. Adequate scaffolding is also proving to be a problem, ktore would help shape the cultures of comork into tissues and creating bioreactorow for mass production of comorek.
Open-source research (with free and open access to the resultoin the works) in this field have recently received an injection of fresh readyowki. On February 6, the think-tank Good Food Institute (GFI – an organization that supports alternatives to wspoHowever, according to some, the company has announced a winneroIn the first grant program. 14 projectoin research will share the sum of 3 millionoin the dollarow. Six teamsow is developing methods for raising meat in the laboratory, eight others are working on plant-based proteins.
– This appears to be the biggest contribution to research into the use of comorek for livestock-food purposes – mowi Kate Kreuger, director of the. Research at New Harvest, an organization thatora has committed nearly $1 million over the past ten yearsow for research on laboratory meat farming. Money is needed m.in. to create publicly accessible banks of comorek muscles of common livestock like cows, pigs, fish. Without such comorek researchers are forced to experimentow on tissues obtained directly from slaughterhouses or for research on mice.
The Norwegian ComoThe Oslo Stem Cell Rep plans to use a grant from the GFI to helpoc construction of the Frozen Farmyard, in whichoThe stored comorki used in agriculture. Other researchers want to build on the achievements of dozens ofoin years of regenerative medicine research. Biophysicist at the University of California, Los Angeles, Amy Rowat, a day-to-day researcher on comowith cancerous cells. Thanks to a grant from GFI, he now wants to design scaffolds on which toorych could grow rodifferent types oforek cows. This will make it possible to add fat to lab-grown steaksow.
In contrast, entrepreneurs in the synthetic meat development industry are hoping that more scientistsow will engage in research. – Industry needs innovative approaches to making bioproductsoin meat with high yields – mowi Nicholas Genovese, head of theowny expert at Memphis Meats, a California-based company. – Research can play a decisive role in bringing a product to market, he adds.
The origins of laboratory-produced meat research date back to the 1990s. The first patent in this field belonged to Dutch researcher and entrepreneur Willem van Eelen, whoory got the country’s authorities interested in his idea. Eventually, thanks to his ideas, biologist Mark Post of Maastricht University presented the first lab-grown hamburger in 2013. Its production cost was estimated at $250,000ow.
However, governments are reluctant to invest in similar research because it is expensive and risky. Tissue engineering research is mostly conducted for medical purposes. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, on the other hand, allocates minimal funding for research on lab-grown meat. Hence the difficulty in developing the technology. But someore countries see the potential in continuing to fund similar work. Israel plans to spend more than 27 million over the next eight yearsoin dollarsow on developingoj research on meat produced in laboratories.
Private investment in lab-raised meat has already reduced the cost of its production. Companies argue that they can produce a hamburger for $500ow, or thin steak for barely $50ow. However, these are still first-generation products thatore require improvement. Someowho researchers believe that a new field of science will soon emerge to address the issue of growing meat in laboratories.