While an animal always has to die for meat, «Cultivated Meat» is produced by removing muscle stem cells from the living animal – so no animal has to die for it. The procedure of removing stem cells is comparable to taking blood.
The stem cells are then multiplied outside the animal’s body in a cell culture and, when there are sufficient numbers, assembled to form muscle tissue. This tissue is very similar to muscle fibers in a steak and the end product is 100% real meat. In the past, a serum derived from fetal calves was used in the manufacturing process, but according to Dr. Post is no longer necessary.
“There are a number of compelling reasons not to use calf serum. Obtaining serum from unborn calves is inherently unsustainable, it is incompatible with our animal welfare standards, and it also poses a risk of disease.” Research is currently being carried out into optimization options using a plant-based serum as a binding agent.
Cultured Meat can be crafted from any animal that possesses Muscle Specific Stem Cells. This applies to all animals that are commonly eaten: mammals, birds and fish.
But why is Mosa Meat only focused on beef?
“We focus on beef because cattle are the most inefficient link in food production. The energy turnover is less than 15%. This means that in order to produce 150 g of muscle meat, the cattle must be given 1 kg of feed. Pigs are twice as efficient and chickens are four times as efficient. Fish are the most efficient. For animal welfare reasons, it’s a very good idea to also replace pigs and chickens with cultured meat varieties,» says Dr. Post Office.
Finless Foods is another start-up in this space. It focuses on the development of fish products. By removing cellular material from fish, the company is able to manufacture fish products without killing animals.