Cultivated Meat

Future of Foods Podcast: Celeste Trujillo, Food Science, Product Development at The Better Butchers

Alex Crisp of the Future of Foods podcast here interviews The Better Butchers, a Canadian company headed by Mitchell Scott previously of The Better Food Company, which intends to create hybrid cultivated meat products.

The interview with Celeste Trujillo from The Better Butchers was carried out in September 2023. Since then the following updates have taken place and are reported by the company.

  1. We have launched a new line of products to start generating revenue and build our brand: three mycelium-based crumble SKUs, an original unflavoured, a chorizo and an Italian. We launched just two weeks ago and we have sold out and are scaling to grow and meet demand. We have a minimal ingredient list, we season with spices and herbs and don’t add flavors or colors.
  2. These have now been sponsored by National Products Canada and will be showcased at the Canadian Health & Food Association trade show in Vancouver.
  3. We have also been selected by the Foresight CleanTech accelerator program.
  4. Eventually, we would like to develop hybrid products with mycelium and cultivated meat and we believe this initial business will help us invest in research to accelerate the cultivated meat launch.

This is a link to the full interview on YouTube:

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Celeste: We are developing our own cellular agricultural process to make cultivated pork specifically, for now to use it to make butcher shop items that you would usually see in higher-end butcher shops so more like sausages and meatballs but also Salamis pepperonis and the Holy Grail bacon.

“…right now I understand the need of biotechnology cell biology and the food industry to come together”

I will say that the research and development led by Dr Sudan has made in the way that once it’s developed we can use it to make other meats so we can go from pork to beef and chicken and also we can also make other components of meat that we recognize and meat fats that make the whole experience much better

Alex: I wasn’t aware that you are actually making your own I was under the impression that you might have been selling other people’s products. So you are producing now and you have a product?

Celeste: Canada has not yet issued any letter of objection to anybody. So we are not commercial yet we actually started development this year and with it we are just doing the development ourselves but also I guess the concept is the butcher shop and the dream and the vision is that bioreactors can be set up anywhere in the world and then we have these butcher shops where people can come in and enjoy higher-end products not just whatever you find already in retail stores but actually utilize those old techniques like fermentation drying, smoking and making great products – bring back that joy and tradition but slaughter-free so cruelty-free.

Celeste Trujillo, courtesy of Better Butchers

Alex: That sounds like a fabulous idea and so of course you will be flavoring them and smoking them. Sausages are such a good one to do because it’s contained in the skin so it can be manipulated it hasn’t got to have the same muscles and scaffolding and all the stuff that perhaps you would need if you’re making a steak or if you’re making a proper cut.

Is that right?

Celeste: Yes, we are making ground pork and it is very specific to that – we’re not making full cuts – you’re correct yeah

Alex: How did you become involved in the space of cultivated me can you give us a little background on you?

Celeste: Absolutely yeah. Mitchell Scott the CEO and co-founder brought the idea to me. He was always interested in it and I am a food scientist I have built my career in food product development specifically plant-based analogs to animal. It’s just the idea of having real meat but it isn’t meat coming from you know the normal conventional animal agriculture and is more compassionate and it’s also better for the environment. In that way, I couldn’t say no and right now I understand the need of biotechnology cell biology and the food industry to come together. As a food scientist, I understand it isn’t going to be just one science. But also you know we’re bringing food into people’s laps so it’s so important – it’s so much responsibility.

The Better Butchers cultivated meat
© The Better Butchers

Alex: So, as a scientist, have you been part of the whole process – I mean have you developed the growth medium? Have you been part of the cell extraction and the whole thing from beginning to end? Are you part of the concept or the science?

Celeste: Dr Sudan is the one who’s leading that division in the company and part of our strategy of course is that we develop everything ourselves but not necessarily because we want it but because it’s not available yet, because the information is not out there everybody is very secretive it’s a very competitive industry right now. We are in a situation where we need to develop things ourselves and also the regulatory pathway is not as clear. As I said everybody’s trying to do their own process so there isn’t a straight-up way to do it.  You never really know where things are starting, we are doing everything from beginning to end and until it gets packaged and consumers start eating – it’s very exciting.

>> Click here to go to Cultivated X where you will see a familiar layout and a focus solely on content regarding cellular agriculture, including fermentation-enabled products, and with more granular categories.

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