Nestlé explores potential for cultured meat

Shutterstock.com

Food giant Nestlé sees potential in cultured meat and has therefore entered into a partnership with the Israeli start-up Future Meat Technologies. The Swiss company hopes that new technologies can lead to more environmentally friendly products.

 

Nutritious and sustainable alternatives

Nestlé is currently evaluating innovative technologies to produce cultured meat or ingredients for cultured meat in cooperation with several external partners, the company confirmed after Bloomberg revealed the news. The multinational already has a strong position in the market of vegetable meat alternatives (among others with its Garden Gourmet brand), but wants to go a few steps further.

 

"To complement these efforts, the company is exploring technologies that could lead to animal-friendly alternatives that are close to meat in terms of taste, flavor, and texture", Reinhard Behringer of Nestlé's research institute states.

 

Industrial production facility

One of the start-ups that Nestlé is now working with is Future Meat Technologies, a company that knows how to "grow" meat from animal cells. The production process is broadly comparable with making yogurt or brewing beer: specifically, it starts from muscle cells that are cut from living cattle, pigs, chickens or fish under anaesthetic. These cells are then further cultivated in bioreactors. As a result, less land and resources are needed for meat production.

 

Only a few weeks ago, Future Meat Technologies put its first industrial production facility for cultured meat into operation. The bioreactor can produce about 500 kilograms of cultured meat per day. The first products could be on the market in 2022. That seems very fast: after all, before laboratory meat can force a real commercial breakthrough, producers will have to overcome some major hurdles in terms of cost, scale, legislation and consumer confidence.