A startup that makes cultured mozzarella and ricotta cheeses without cows has just got record funding from investors looking to tap the growing market for environmentally friendly dairy alternatives.Berlin-based Formo will use the $50 million of Series A funding — a record for a European foodtech — to expand its product range into mature and ripened cheeses like cheddar and gruyere. The company will also scale up its precision fermentation technology, it said in an emailed statement Monday.
Launched by EU Funding programme Horizon Europe, the funding is the groups biggest package of support covering plant-based, cultivate meat and fermentation to date. The multi-annual EU funding framework, which will run from 2021 to 2027, contained three projects directly covering this area and followed and open letter from the Good Food Institute Europe and 21 other organisations that called on the European Commission to invest in sustainable protein research and development.
As cultivated meat and fat are novel foods, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) requires they be approved as such. In March this year, EFSA published scientific and technical guidance for the preparation and submission of applications for authorisation of novel foods. Within this latest guidance, EFSA indicates which data are required for submissions, including that related to product identification, manufacturing processes, and compositions of nutritional profiles, Brandes explained.
The question was asked again this week when an article from Food Navigator zeroed in on Europe, noting, “Europeans want to know when it will be their turn: when will cultivated meat be served on EU plates?” It seems the most probable answer is three to five years.
As the technology matures, cultured meat will not limit itself to replacing traditional meat, but will also bring novel products that can’t be grown by traditional agriculture, such as personalized foods tailored to the needs of a particular person or group. If the success of vegan food is an indicator, the next few years will see a vast expansion of cultured meat. “Most consumers are already onboard because they understand the benefits of this production method,” Morin-Forest said. “Cultured meat is not for 2050, it is a very concrete solution to tackle today’s environmental and sanitary challenges.”
The EU is subsidising a research program from the Meat4All consortium to the amount of 2.7M Euros, the consortium believes this is the first time a cell-based meat project has received financial backing from Brussels, according to FoodNavigator.com. The finance has been allocated from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 R&D funding programme, and signifies that the EU is committed to sourcing alternative protein. Leading the consortium is San Sebastián-based BioTech Foods, which has been producing a slaughter-free pork-cell based product called Ethicameat since 2017. French firm Organotechnie, a biotech supplier, is also participating.
Consider the combination of the crops being used: soy, wheat, and pea protein are the most typical. This invokes the debate about wheat versus soy, about GMO versus non-GMO. As the plant-based movement shifted to the mainstream, it became a product that wasn’t just for vegans and vegetarians. People started looking at fat and sodium content. People cited the environmental impact. Yes, alternative meats use less water and land, but these are still monocrops. There’s a lot of noise coming from non-GMO activists as well as the traditional protein industry pointing out what can be seen as the “weaknesses” of alternative meats. As the category grows and competition speeds up, that’s only likely to increase.
The demand for plant-based food is surging across the globe, and consumers from North America to Asia are increasingly interested in delicious plant-based products. In response to this growing demand, the Good Food Institute will be hosting a series of webinars highlighting different plant-based markets around the world.
Up first: the Good Food Institute is partnering with our partner organization, ProVeg International, to present market and consumer data on the European market! ProVeg International recently surveyed several thousand consumers across nine European countries in order to identify priorities for product improvement and development based on consumers’ experiences of purchasing and consuming plant-based products.
During this webinar we will review high level market data on the European market (with focuses on the U.K., Germany, and France), and will learn about the enormous potential for developing and launching new plant-based products in multiple food categories with clear growth opportunities.
The ScaLABle-MEAT project, founded by Eurostar program, will develop a technology to produce lab-grown meat based on Nobel prize winning stem cell technology. The consortium is composed of four European companies: Meatable (Holland), Bit Bio (UK), Ebers (Spain) and HCS Pharma (France). It will deliver a technology platform consisting of bovine cell lines that are easily transformed into fat and muscle cells, a highly efficient cell expansion process, and a tailor-made bioreactor-scaffold combination to generate pieces of meat.
Academia and cellular agriculture
Topic 1 : How to convert existing knowledge and infrastructure to cellular agriculture ? with Tom Ben-Arye
Topic 2 : How to get publishable research in cellular agriculture ? with Mark Post