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Steakholder Foods Submits Patent for Immortal Bovine Cell Line, Says “It’s a Paradigm Shift” for Future Food

Israeli deep tech Steakholder Foods Ltd., known for its 3D printing technology, yesterday announced it had submitted a provisional patent for immortal bovine cell lines, with the purpose of providing a stable, renewable source for generating different tissues.

Steakholder announced back in August 2022 that it was working on the development of cultivated pork products using a new line of porcine stem cells. It states that this current move represents a “significant step in making commercial-scale cultivated meat production a reality”, claiming it paves the way for scale, repeatability, and growth.

“This isn’t merely a technological milestone; it’s a paradigm shift in how we envision food production for the future.”

The patent is said to present immortal cell lines that can generate a broad array of tissues including both muscle and fat, and to enhance the growth capacity of bovine cells resulting in immortalization and increased biomass production at reduced division time.

Further recent developments in cell lines

A recent GFI report highlighted the need for increased cell line availability, describing the challenges cultivated meat manufacturers face due to the shortage of available commercial cell lines. The paper found that most companies in the cell ag space rely on slaughtered animals to source cells, demonstrating a demand for alternative sources such as live animals or proximity to cell isolation facilities. The GFI suggests that farmers, ranchers, and seafood producers could use this opportunity to create novel revenue.

Cultured meat dish arranged on plate, Steakholder Foods
Image credit Ronen Mangan

The study also found that companies prefer to obtain halal or kosher certification for their cell lines, and since the beginning of this month, cultivated chicken by Supermeat obtained kosher certification and chicken cultivated by JUST Eat’s GOOD Meat division has been assessed by Islamic scholars who have concluded that the novel protein can be considered as halal if it adheres to strict criteria.

According to Dan Kozlovski, CTO of Steakholder Foods: “In 100 generations of replications, a single cell in an immortal cell line could theoretically produce more than 3,250 trillion tons of meat. With around 350 million tons of meat consumed annually, immortal cell lines are paving the way to ensuring slaughter-free meat supply for the foreseeable future. This isn’t merely a technological milestone; it’s a paradigm shift in how we envision food production for the future.”

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