The partnership will streamline the production processes for growth medium proteins in order to bring down costs. The proteins produced will be animal-free, acting as a substitute for the fetal bovine serum (FBS) currently most commonly used in the sector. FBS is extremely expensive, accounting for the majority of the cost of cultivated meat, and often has issues with contamination and variable quality.
Non exclusive agreement
Perhaps most importantly, the new agreement will be non-exclusive, meaning other cultivated meat companies will also be able to access the affordable cell growth media. This could make it possible to bring down costs across the board, a vital step towards price parity and the commercial viability of cultivated meat.
In an interview in July, Aleph Farms told vegconomist it had a vision to “lead the global food system transition toward a more sustainable, equitable, and secure world”. The company has had a highly successful year in 2021, receiving investments from actor Leonardo DiCaprio and tuna processor Thai Union. Aleph Farms also recently set out plans to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2025.
“Bringing down the cost and making suitable raw materials available at this key moment in the scale-up of production is imperative to taking cultivated meat mainstream and driving impact,” said Didier Toubia, Co-Founder and CEO of Aleph Farms. “Our team’s scientific expertise alongside WACKER’s vast experience makes it possible to produce proteins at the quantity, quality, and cost necessary to meet Aleph’s aggressive goal of achieving cost-parity with conventional meat.”