Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

CULT Food Science Portfolio Company Biftek to Commercialise Animal-Free Growth Medium

CULT Food Science has announced that one of its portfolio companies, Biftek, has made significant progress towards commercialising its animal-free growth medium.

Biftek says it will soon transport its first sample to a Singapore-based cultivated meat company. Called “Lyophilized Biftek Growth Medium Supplement”, the medium has been developed to be suitable for global shipping without cold chain logistics. Unlike with animal-derived growth mediums, there is no variation between batches, meaning the quality is consistent.

Another key advantage of animal-free mediums is the potential for lower costs. The expense of cultivated meat remains a problem, but 80-90% of production costs come from fetal bovine serum, currently the most widely-used growth medium. Biftek realised that if it could develop a cheaper alternative, cultivated meat costs could be slashed.

Biftek animal-free growth medium
© Biftek INC.

“The current challenges within the cultivated meat ecosystem are fragmented. We feel that the most important one is to lower the production cost of cultivated meat products and we have developed several potential solutions to address this issue,” said Kerem Erikci, CEO of Biftek. “We believe that growth medium innovations will be the most powerful tools to secure mass adoption of lab-grown foods. Biftek’s growth medium supplement is on track to be one of the best alternatives to FBS.”

The expanding portfolio of CULT Food Science

CULT Food Science is a Canadian investment firm with a focus on cultivated food products. The company has recently made several strategic investments in the industry.

Alongside Biftek, CULT counts Novel Farms, a producer of whole cuts of gourmet cultivated meat, among its portfolio companies. Also included is Ohayo Valley, which is developing cultivated wagyu steaks.

Novel Farms
©Novel Farms

CULT’s most recent investment is in 3D Bio-Tissues, a British company producing biological tissue material that can be used for cultivated meat, synthetic leather, and collagen production.

“This investment in 3DBT is an important addition to our investment platform, as bio-tissues are a critical element of cultivated meat production, where scientific innovation is deeply needed. We are excited to help accelerate the growth of the Venture and will look to leverage potential synergies with our other portfolio companies in due course,” said Dorian Banks, Chief Executive Officer of CULT.

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