Cultured Meat Could Transform Our Food System

Market Overview of Cultured Meat

Cultured meat refers to meat manufactured by using artificial cell culture. It is produced by growing master cells created by collecting samples from cattle, pigs, and other livestock. The meat is artificially produced, except for when cells are collected, existing livestock is not used in the production processes. Cultured meat is seen as a new field in a food item, where livestock meat is recreated without killing farm animals. Additionally, the number of startups involved in the growth of cultured meat is growing year after year and has now reached 60 as of June 2020, compared to four or so in the globe in 2016.

Furthermore, there are two types of meat alternatives at present such as plant-based meat and cultured meat. Plant-based meat alternatives are produced by cooking existing protein-rich plants, such as soybeans, and then releasing them into a meat shape. For key players, the difficulties to entry into this particular business are considered low because reusing existing technologies and facilities make production possible. Beyond Meat, a US startup creating plant-based meat substitutes became listed in 2019 and began selling its products to Starbucks in China. Further US company, Impossible Foods, offers its products at more than 1,000 restaurants and other businesses in the entire nation. In addition, other food giants such as Nestlé (Switzerland), Tyson Foods (US), and Kellogg's (US), have also entered or declared their entry into the plant-based meat alternative segments. This field is now the target of attention among not only food companies but also chemicals manufacturers. Moreover, in Japan, Shin-Etsu Chemical has launched into the production of additives used for processing plant-based meats.

  • COVID-19 Impact on Cultured Meat Market

The food and beverage industry are adversely hit by the global COVID-19 crisis which is anticipated to influence the sales of major food and beverage products. India, the US, the UK, Italy, Brazil, Russia, France, Turkey, and Spain are some of the poorly affected economies in terms of confirmed cases and reported deaths. Additionally, the COVID-19 has been influencing countries and industries in various economies owing to lockdowns, travel restrictions, and business shutdowns. The shutdown of various plants and units has influenced the global supply chains and negatively impacted the production, delivery schedules, and sales of products in the global market. Few companies have already declared possible delays in product deliveries and collapse in future sales of their product cultured meat is one of the developing markets in the food and beverages sector and majorly developed through the microbiological process. The product research and development work has been interrupted owing to disease which further can affect the production of cultured meat. Furthermore, changing consumer's food demand and consumption trend could have a major influence after the end of the coronavirus disease outbreak, which, afterward a considerable factor for the demand for cultured meat. Therefore, the cultured meat market would have a diminished to high impact owing to the COVID-19 disease pandemic.

  • Driving Factors for the Cultured Meat Market


Factory farming is accountable for more greenhouse gas emissions than the entire transportation sector combined. One kilogram of beef requires 6.5 kilograms of the crop, 330 square meters of ground, 15'000 liters of water, and produces 16.4 kilograms of carbon dioxide. Moreover, the world animal agriculture is responsible for 20%-33% of all freshwater utilization, for up to 91% of the destruction of the Amazon, and is a leading cause of rainforest destruction, as livestock covers 45% of the earth's total land. One football field of rainforest is destroyed every second to raise cattle to produce 257 hamburgers. In 2016, the average Swiss consumed 46.3 kilograms of meat, which puts Switzerland in 12th place in a global list sorted by yearly beef utilization. Meat consumption has rapidly raised in the past years and continues going up. In addition, fertilizer used to feed crops for the animals causes the pollution of soil, water, and air by nitrogen and phosphorus. There is also a huge loss of biodiversity due to eutrophication, acidification, pesticides, and herbicides utilized for feed crops and due to livestock-related habitat destruction. Manufacturing Cultured Beef could use as much as 99% less space, 7 to 45% less energy, 78% to 96% lower greenhouse emissions, and about 90% less water. This propounds that the environmental consequences of switching from familiar factory farming to lab-grown cultured meat can have a long-term positive impact on the world's climate and the environment by declining these emissions by up to 96%.

Job Creator

There is a huge demand for beef worldwide and with a constantly rising population and standard of living, the demand for beef has not gained its peak. With cultured meat there will be a massive number of new business sectors created, new employment created, and will begin the production of not only in-vitro meat but also other cultured foods.


Humans take meat mostly from animals that have been injected with antibiotics, which is a source of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that can be hazardous for them and cause serious health problems. If humans eat undercooked meat where those antibiotic-resistant bacteria are present, they could get sick owing to bacteria that an antibiotic can't treat. Moreover, about 2millions Americans get infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria every year and at least 23 thousand Americans died from those infections. Humans are utilizing 15 million kilograms of antibiotics in food animal production every year, which is four times as many antibiotics as humans are utilizing in medicine. Limpid cultured meat does not need the use of any antibiotics, so there is no growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which is major progress for human health. Cultured meat also reduces or entirely keeps off animal-borne pathogens and bacteria, such as salmonella that could cause further diseases.


Modern and therefore entire all high-pressure agriculture keeps the animals such as chickens, cows, pigs, calves, ducks, and other animals in horrible conditions, where they are not treated like living beings but like objects that do not deserve to be happy. They are commonly kept in jammed, dusty, and undersized cages, stalls, crates, or sheds where they are often unable to take a single step. Poor or even no veterinary care, exercise, sunlight these feeling beings suffer and die at the rate of millions per day just to land on the plate. Cows and pigs are so intelligent and their senses are so much like our own. The only difference between pigs and dogs is our sensation and traditions. Pigs are even a lot smarter than dogs; the only difference is that they might not look as good and do not have such fluffy fur. Pigs, cows, and even chickens are all individuals with feelings – they experience loneliness, happiness, love, and fear, just as cats, dogs, and people do. Moreover, about 25 billion animals are killed by the meat industry every year in awful ways that we could not even imagine. Lap-grown meat does not need slaughter and all this brutal process of growing an animal under horrible conditions and is therefore way more ethically acceptable.

Faster Production

In-vitro meat only takes weeks to culture and harvest and is hence much faster than conventional meat. With that advantage, the industry can react and act much faster to current changes in the demand of the consumers.

  • Opportunities in the Cultured Meat Market

Cultured meat offers a hope that our society can become less credulous on animals for meat, therefore declining the environmental and health impact of animal farming. There are still major scientific challenges including emerging quality cell lines, cheap costs of growth media components, and developing bioreactors for rising thick tissue layers before cultured meat can become a common food product. However, there is room for buoyancy.

Futuristic technology in biomaterial design, genetic engineering, and sequencing methods can cater to effective technical solutions. Greater scientific solutions are also expected with rising funding in the science of substitute food products. Additionally, far off the science, for cultured meat to become a common market well, challenges in regulations and consumer acceptance must still be decline.

  • Challenges to Cultured Meat Development

Investing In Basic Research

Much of the basic biotechnology research required to mass-produce cultured meat has yet to be done, including studies on optimal cell lines and culture media. There are as yet no scientific disciplines, departments or institutes devoted totally to the research and development of "bio fabrication" or "cellular agriculture" as distinct areas of study. Most research into cellular agriculture to date has hence been undertaken as isolated projects and has therefore not been met with widespread academic interest. This point is illustrated by the fact that all cultured animal products of recent fame (ground beef, leather, milk, etc.) have been produced in laboratory conditions, using costly techniques adapted ad-hoc from related fields in biotechnology that normally exist in relative isolation. Growing initiatives with promising long-term strategies are currently held back by an adverse lack of funding.

Few Researchers

Contrary to what is openly portrayed in news media coverage, very little scientific attention is being given to the research and development of cellular agriculture including cultured meat as of March 2016. One expert expects places the number of entirely constant researchers at about 5 individuals globally, with another 50-100 known researchers in related fields expressing varying degrees of interest in working on cellular agriculture.

Scarcity of Regulatory Preparedness

Even though some European economies have mentioned cultured meat in the context of novel foods, the relative inception of the science behind it means that current food industry regulations are generally not prepared for commercial production at any significant scale.

Product Mimicry

Two cultured meat products have been exhibited so far, both made from beef cells one hamburger and one meatball. Both were described as clearly meat-like in taste, yet scarcity in certain qualities such as moisture and fat. The teams behind each demonstration report that existing technology can be used to improve taste, texture, and nutritional composition. Problems in replicating complex textures such as steak, chicken breast, and bacon have so far limited textures to that of mincemeat. Significant improvements are required to decline these difficulties, yet only one study is going on at the moment. Boosting ground beef products to the point of market-competitive texture is much less challenging and thus remains the primary focus for now. This approach seems most probably to secure cultured meat a place among popular meat products on store shelves, which will be pivotal in gaining acceptance for all successive cultured products as soon as they are introduced.

Culture Medium

Although prototypes of animal-free culture media exist and have been used to manufacture muscle tissue, progress in this area is severely hampered by the fact that optimal cell lines have not yet been found, as individual cell lines often require distinct medium formulations to proliferate. Biomass from microalgae seems the preferred source for the nutrients required in culture media; nevertheless, algae production at scales large enough to meet the requirements of cultured meat poses several technical challenges, many of which (including the scaling up of cost-efficient photobioreactors) are currently being faced for applications in evidently unrelated fields such as biofuels and animal feed.


The only private company making cultured beef as of June 2016 reports a manufacturing cost of about €36,200/kg, representing an 18-fold price reduction compared with the €650,000/kg burger disclosure in 2013. The top researcher declared in late 2015 that, under ideal conditions, combining pharmaceutical bioreactor technology with existing tissue culture techniques can already reduce costs to €60/kg of cultured ground beef. It should be noted that, while the cost of cultured meat should aim to match that of regular meat, the current market average of meat is artificially low as a result of heavy government subsidizing of animal agriculture.

  • Major Strategic Movements in Cultured Meat Market

In July 2021, Nestlé explores emerging technologies for cultured meat. To understand the capacity of future meat substitutes, Nestlé is closely observing scientific trends and inspecting developing technologies. The company is evaluating the latest technologies to manufacture cultured meat or cultured-meat ingredients with different external partners and start-ups. Such narrative technologies can lead to more environmentally friendly products. For instance, scientists at Nestlé Research in Lausanne are working with Future Meat Technologies, a leading cultured-meat start-up, to explore the capabilities of cultured-meat components that do not compromise on taste or sustainability. Future Meat Technologies' novel and cost-efficient proprietary technology can manufacture non-GMO cultured-meat components from animal cells, therefore decreasing the requirement for land and resources to raise animals.

In January 2021, Paulig's venture arm PINC has funding in Swiss start-up MIRAI FOODS, which has put up about EUR 2 million in seed funding to prepare the commercialization of cultivated meat. As a sustainability frontrunner, Paulig is actively emerging a food culture that promotes the well-being of people and the planet. The investment in MIRAI FOODS helps this growth.

In May 2021, Merck, a leading science and technology company, on this day declared three-year collaborations with Tufts University, Massachusetts, USA, and Technical University (TU) of Darmstadt in Germany. While the cultured meat industry is reaching momentum, bolstering the production process and curtailing the cost remain key challenges. The primary target of the partnership between Merck and the two universities will be the growth of next-generation, scalable bioreactor designs that can support meat and seafood manufacture on a commercial scale.

In July 2020, World's Largest Food Company, Nestlé, Taps into Cultured Meat. Cultured meat could be the next big step for Nestlé as the company confirms its collaboration with Israeli startup Future Meat Technologies Ltd. Nestlé has placed rising emphasis on substitutes protein products, such as plant-based meat and dairy over the last year after appearing relatively late to the now-flourishing vegan market.

  • Companies With Initiatives in Cultivated Meat

MosaMeat (Netherlands), Fork & Goode (US), New Age Meats (US), Just, Inc (US), Integriculture (Japan), Aleph Farms Ltd (Israel),  (US), Avant Meats Company Limited (China), Mission Barns (US), Cell Farm FOOD Tech/Granja Celular S.A (Argentina), Cubiq Foods (Spain), Balletic Foods (US), Future Meat Technologies Ltd (Israel), SuperMeat (Israel), Seafuture Sustainable Biotech (Canada), Appleton Meats (Canada), Higher Steaks (UK), Biofood Systems LTD (Israel), Meatable (Netherlands), Bluenalu, Inc. (the US), Shiok Meats (Singapore), Wild Type (US), Memphis Meats (US), Lab farm Foods (US), Kiran Meats (US), and others.

Posted by  Abhijeet Kale
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Abhijeet Kale is a graduate in Biotechnology with good knowledge of emerging technologies in the healthcare sector. He likes to read here and there about the innovations in biotechnology, healthcare devices, and other technologies revolutionizing the medical sector. Not a popular writer so do search him on Introspective Market Research to read some of the informative stuff written by him. Even though his main interest lies in the healthcare sector, he has a fascination with nature, the flora and fauna, and loathes people who pollute the environment including himself. Regarding his profession, he is a dependable market researcher who is good at time management and always eager to learn new skills.