The Future of Meat: Study on Cost-Efficient, Sustainable Cultivated Chicken Production
A recent study led by BELIEVER Meats, published in Nature Foods, has unveiled a comprehensive and cost-efficient GMO-Free production method for cultivated chicken.
By Milo Runkle
According to BELIEVER Meats, the study conducted by its founder and CTO, Professor Yaakov Nahmias, has found answers to some of the industry’s biggest challenges regarding cost-efficiency and transparency in cultivated chicken production. In their own words, "These findings break that ‘big wall of no’ described by Paul Wood and David Humbrid in last year’s The Counter article that challenged the feasibility of lab-grown meat."
One of the breakthroughs in this study is the production of non-GMO immortal cell lines, a huge step forward in terms of transparency and safety in the field. BELIEVER Meats claims to have successfully produced immortal cell lines of chicken fibroblasts using its patented process of spontaneous immortalization, which is non-GMO and avoids any unintended mutations that may increase the risk of immunological reactions.
But this study isn't just about safety and transparency; it also brings a more efficient manufacturing process. The researchers demonstrated that spontaneous cells grown in suspension could be produced in densities of over 100 billion cells per liter, which is a 17 times more efficient manufacturing process than industry standards. According to BELIEVER Meats, projected production costs would be around $1.80 to $4.50 per pound. Professor Nahmias even explained, "By analogy, this would allow one to produce about 880 pounds of meat, or about a cow a month, from a vessel the size of a typical refrigerator."
To top it off, the team also showed the effective differentiation of fat cells that produce chicken meat's distinct aroma and flavor. It developed a highly efficient differentiation process that uses natural soy lecithin to turn fibroblasts into fat cells in under a week. This means that combining cultured cells with plant proteins can produce hybrid products in which the aroma and flavor come from lab-grown cells, and the proteins are a blend of cells and plant proteins.
Professor Nahmias concludes, "We strongly believe that honesty is the best policy. We wanted to ensure that everyone knew where our cell lines came from and how stable and safe they are. Our efficiency is a matter of public information, leading to the robust and sustainable production of lab-grown meat that everyone can afford."
It's exciting to see companies like BELIEVER Meats pushing the boundaries of what is possible in cultivated meat and making it more accessible and sustainable for everyone. This study is a significant step toward creating a more sustainable and ethical food system.