“I think the question that is facing the industry today is commercialization,” explained Ido Savir, CEO, SuperMeat.
“This system essentially provides us with the ability to screen several different feed ingredients so that we can tailor it the way we want. We’re excited about the ocean of possibilities that open up here.
The high costs associated with cultivated meat production remain a big barrier to commercialization for lab-grown meat. The process involves the use of a growth medium to stimulate cell growth, which can cost up to $400 a liter. One kilogram of cultured meat can require up to 600 liters of growth medium, so costs can add up quickly.
Faster identification of potential cultivated meat ingredients
A faster, more comprehensive screening system for potential ingredients could help bring down the costs of cultivated meat, Savir said.
“If you’re able to really screen as many candidate ingredients as possible, then you can find the best ones for each region. That’s what we’re trying to do,” he added.
SuperMeat hopes to develop the world’s largest open high-throughput system in partnership with Thermo Fisher Scientific. Because the project is open source, other companies in the cultivated meat industry can use the findings generated by the system.
“Part of the reason many of these companies need so much funding is because they are all doing the same thing. They go through many ingredients to try to find what works best,” said Savir. “We’re doing it anyway.”
This could allow the cultivated meat industry to screen thousands of potential cultivated meat growth media ingredients, supplements and scaffolds, which could identify the ingredients with the lowest costs and lead toward commercial viability for the meat alternative.
Earlier this year, SuperMeat signed a memorandum of understanding with PHW Group, one of Europe’s largest poultry producers, to work together to develop, manufacture and distribute cultivated meat at a large scale for consumers.