Biotech advances which are enabling meats to be grown from cells are poised to disrupt future farm and forestry practices and potentially lighten our environmental impact on the planet.
The first meat via cellular agriculture went on sale in Singapore in late 2020, with Just Eat’s ‘chicken’ nuggets, and the sector is now readying to deliver the first cell-based seafood products.
In August Shiok Meats invited diners to a private tasting of the first cell-cultured crab-meat at Bukit Timah restaurant in Kebaya, Singapore, presented by TheTasteLab chef José Luis Del Amo. Aiming to bring the seafood to market by 2023, Shiok is building its production facility.
“The cell-based industry is poised to revolutionise business. The food sector is first in line with cell-focused companies expected to produce around 40% of all meat consumed globally by 2040. But now cell-focused startups are also looking into other sectors, paving the way for exciting opportunities while potentially easing our climate crisis too.”
– Jennifer Creevy, Head of Food & Drink, WGSN
Israeli SuperMeat has created a test restaurant next to its pilot plant near Tel Aviv to appeal to the most curious diners. The world’s first lab-to-table restaurant shows consumers how cell-based meat is grown onsite and how varying inputs can alter texture and taste.
Meanwhile, Netherlands start-up Geneus Biotech and scientists at the University of Amsterdam debuted Furoid, a cruelty-free fur. It is made by cultivating animal cells, growth factors and biomaterials into a natural tissue, then 3D bio-printed into a fur molecularly identical to fur in look and feel - minus the environmental and ethical impacts. Geneus has a patent pending for wool using the same biotech.
Like meat production, forestry and logging has a heavy toll on the environment. US research institute MIT is developing lab-grown plant tissues like wood, growing zinnia leaf cells into new materials using plant hormones.
As cellular-grown ingredients and materials start to scale and gain consumer interest, we’ll be tracking these innovators bringing animal-free food and vegan materials to market
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