Government programs around the globe are increasingly getting more involved in the alternative protein space. This month, the Danish government allocated 1.25 billion kroner (~$194 million USD) for research into plant-based proteins. A few weeks ago, the USDA awarded Tufts University $10 million to establish “a cultivated protein center of excellence”. Most recently, a European agency called REACT-EU set aside $2 million in funding to help decrease the costs of producing cultivated meat.
In this Alt. Protein Round-up, we also have news pieces on mission Barns’ product unveil, Black Sheep Foods plant-based lamb, ImpossibleMeat’s burger stand, and ADM’s investment into precision fermentation.
Mission Barns and Silva Sausages unveil first product
Cultivated fat producer Mission Barns and sausage manufacturer Silva Sausages unveiled their first product produced in partnership: chorizo sausages. The sausages are a hybrid product, made with undisclosed plant proteins and Mission Barn’s proprietary cultivated fat. This is the first production run of the product, and this trial exemplified that the companies have the capabilities to produce the sausages on a large scale. In the multi-year partnership, Mission Barns will use Silva’s facilities (which can produce up to 50,000 lbs of sausage per day) and distribution network. There is no date set for an official launch of the hybrid chorizo sausages
European REACT-EU grants $2 million for “Feed for Meat” project
The “Feed for Meat” project was started by Nutreco and MosaMeat, and it aims to lower the cost of producing cultivated meat. The EuropeanREACT-EU recovery assistance program just awarded the project $2 million to support efforts in commercializing cultivated eat throughout Europe. This funding will specifically be used for R&D efforts for reducing the costs of cultured cell media. This component is typically the most expensive part of cultured meat; however, Mosa Meat has shared that it has successfully reduced the cost of one of the growth nutrients by 98 percent.
Black Sheep Foods Launches Plant-Based Lamb in SanFrancisco Restaurants
This week, alternative protein startup Black Sheep Foods’plant-based lamb made its debut in San Francisco restaurants. The launch is a big step for the Black Sheep team, which wants to offer more variety to plant-based meat-eaters. “Our first product is lamb because it’s both alien and familiar in America,” company co-founder Sunny Kumar told The Spoon this week over Zoom. “Everyone knows about lamb, but no one really eats it at a high cadence.” Read the full article here.
ADM Invests in Acies Bio to expand precision fermentation capabilities
Global nutrition and agriculture company, ADM, invested in the Slovenian biotechnology company, Acies Bio through its venture capital armADM Ventures. One of Acies Bio’s specialties is precision fermentationtechnology for food and agricultural applications, and this technology will be used to assist ADM accelerate its own precision fermentation projects. Making use of Acies Bio’s microbial capabilities and contract manufacturing services, ADMaims to meet the growing demand for products developed through microbial fermentation.
Impossible Foods Opens a Burger Stand in Seattle’sClimate Pledge Arena
This week Impossible and Climate Pledge Arena, the worlds first net zero-carbon sports arena, announced that the Impossible patty had been named the venue’s official burger. They also announced Impossible is opening two branded food stands in the home of the NHL’s newest franchise, the Seattle Kraken. Read the full article here.
Source: By Ashien Wilder, 24OCT2021 https://thespoon.tech/alt-protein-round-up-hybrid-chorizo-sausages-and-impossibles-burger-stand/
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As cultivated meat continues to attract investors and regulatory approval, questions about its long-term viability are on the rise. Bring up the topic of cultivated meat in a group setting and you’re likely to get all kinds of responses. It’s not only confusing, it’s controversial, sometimes even contentious stuff. What exactly is going on with meat “grown” in bioreactors? Is it meat? Is it safe? Is it healthy? Is it really capable of doing away with our dependence on industrialized animal agriculture? Bring it up at that fictitious dinner party and you’re sure to hear a few viewpoints: there’s the wide-eyed enthusiasm, likely from early adopters of other tech—Tesla drivers, perhaps. They’re the ones most likely willing and eager to try it, maybe even investing in it. You’ll also get the staunch critics who liken it to science fiction—the evil kind—and lump it in with genetically modified organisms aka “Frankenfoods”. And in this day and age, possibly even vaccine conspiracies a la “Is there a microchip in that lab-grown steak?” Then, there’s the fundamentalist, those who say food is sacred (they’re not wrong there). They may not have ever even heard of the tech until you brought it up, but they will undoubtedly insist “food comes from the earth”, never mind the fact that, like George Carlin once reminded us, everything is natural–as in, comes from the earth—even if it’s steak that’s grown in a lab. Are any of them right?
The number of Brits eating and drinking plant-based alternatives nearly doubled over a 10-year period, from 6.7% to 13.1%, new research finds. Those numbers indicate that plant-based alternatives are likely to play an important role in transitioning the population to healthier diets that are also more sustainable for the planet. The findings published in the recent issue of the journal Science of the Total Environment, underscore “the urgent need to assess in detail the environmental and health impacts” of consuming plant-based alternative foods (PBAFs) versus animal-based proteins, according to the study’s authors. The study was conducted by the London School of Hygiene & Topical Medicine (LSHTM) with partners at Oxford University and using UK consumption data from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey 2008-2019. Researchers analyzed dietary data from more than 15,000 individuals ages 1.5 and up to examine plant-based alternative food consumption trends and characteristics associated with consumption.
Globally, 350 million tonnes of meat are produced every year, and that is only expected to increase. But growing concern about the impact of industrial meat production on climate change, demands for land use, ongoing food insecurity, and demand for healthier food options are making this increasingly unsustainable. More and more people are looking for alternatives to meat. The global race to scale alternative proteins and plant-based and lab-cultivated meat – aka “meatless meats” – is on. The revolution in agriculture and food-production technologies presents an opportunity to diversify the way meat products are produced. And the countries that put strategies in place to leverage these innovations – like Singapore, the first country in the world to regulate cultivated meat – will be the ones to reap the economic, health and environmental rewards. This doesn’t mean traditionally reared meat should be off the menu, but harnessing the power of tech to create tasty alternatives gives more choice to consumers and helps to create a more sustainable solution to our protein problem. In this paper, we set out how governments with the political will can fix the protein problem, and enable the future food system to work better for people and planet. • In the short term, governments should encourage early-stage, discovery research and development both by providing policy support and funding grants to complement private-sector contributions. • In the medium term, governments should support scale-up in production by investing in training and infrastructure, and updating regulations to encourage this evolving industry. • In the long term, governments should ensure that alternative proteins are an element of an overarching plan for sustainability.