In this prospective Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study of cultivated meat (CM, also sometimes referred to as cell-based meat, clean meat, cultured meat and in-vitro meat) we provide insight into the environmental impact of this product when produced at commercial scales. This is the first LCA study to use primary data from multiple CM producers and companies in the upstream supply chain. Data collection efforts were carried out among over 15 companies active in CM development and the supply chain, supplemented with cross-checks by independent experts. While there are still uncertainties due to the early stage of technological development, we believe this study provides a robust inventory with as much primary data as is currently feasible.
One of the biggest hurdles in the way of a major roll-out of cultured meat products is the high production cost for even making one burger. The input cost has decreased – the first cultured burger cost producer Mosa Meat $250,000 (£190,331) to create in 2013, though it claimed a ‘chicken’ nugget would cost $50 (£38) nowadays. However, it is still exorbitantly high compared to traditional methods.
Last year, the MO team successfully removed Fetal Bovine Serum (FBS) from our media. Given FBS is the standard used in cell culturing, this was no small task. But FBS comes from unborn calves and is obtained inhumanely, so removing it was a top priority. Some of our hard-working MO team. Since then, the MO team has been working to ensure the media we use is completely animal component-free. In addition to this, they’ve made a huge amount of progress in lowering the cost, which is vital given the medium will be the most expensive part of our process. Indeed, after successfully developing animal-free media, the MO team has reduced the cost by 88 times.
“You need a 3D printer to mimic the structure of the muscle of the animal,” CEO Eshchar Ben-Shitrit told Reuters. The machines to be launched next year will be able to print 20kg an hour and eventually hundreds, at a lower cost than real meat. Founded in 2018, the company raised $6 million last year in a round led by CPT Capital, an investor in Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods. Hanaco Venture Capital and German poultry group PHW also invested.