Nutreco and Mosa Meat have received a €2 million grant to advance cellular agriculture and bring cultivated beef to the EU market, from the European REACT-EU recovery assistance programme. The joint ‘Feed for Meat’ project ranked first place in the scheme which received over 60 funding applications.
Headquartered in Maastricht, The Netherlands, Mosa Meat is a privately held company backed by Blue Horizon, Bell Food Group, Nutreco, Mitsubishi Corporation, Leonardo DiCaprio and others.
Says Mosa Meat in a blog post; “Today we are proud to announce a grant awarded from React EU to lower the costs of cultivating beef and further improve the sustainability of the cellular agriculture value chain, in collaboration with our investor and partner Nutreco. The grant was awarded for research into lowering the costs of cell culture media, the most expensive step in the process of cultivating beef.”
‘Feed for Meat’ aims to lower the costs of cultivating meat and further improve the sustainability of the cellular agriculture value chain. The REACT-EU support was granted for research and development (R&D) into lowering the costs of cell culture media, the most expensive step in the process of cultivating beef. The programme will fund R&D to specifically address the ‘basal’ or base media in which the beef cells grow. By moving away from pharma-grade products and instead using feed- and food-grade byproducts from Nutreco’s supply chain, Mosa Meat predicts it can lower costs of basal media substantially.
Peter Verstrate, Mosa Meat co-founder and COO, says, “We are honoured to be awarded this grant and look forward to catalyzing our research to reduce the costs of cell culture media. By replacing pharma-grade ingredients with food-grade ingredients, our team predicts cost reductions in the order of 100 times. Support from the government is a great contribution in bringing cultivated beef to the European market.”
The two companies are aiming for the highest yields in cell growth with the lowest environmental impact, by using byproducts from the food and feed industry and selecting the ingredients with the lowest environmental footprint. According to an independent Life Cycle Analysis study, cultivated beef production is projected to reduce climate impact by 92%, air pollution by 93%, use 95% less land and 78% less water when compared to industrial beef production.
Nutreco CEO Fulco van Lede says, “The grant is an important step towards commercialization of cultivated meat. This project is perfectly aligned with our purpose of Feeding the Future. As we strive to feed a growing population in a safe and sustainable way, we will need to utilise a variety of new and emerging protein production methods alongside traditional farming. I’m thrilled that we have received the funding as this allows us to develop inputs for the cultivated meat industry to produce sustainably.”