An innovation hub for cultured meat

An innovation hub for cultured meat

Migros, Bühler and Givaudan are launching an innovation hub for cultured meat. A pilot facility in Kemptthal (canton of Zurich) is moving forward with the development and marketing of lab-grown meat. These new products are expected to outperform traditional meat in terms of their environmental impact, climate protection and animal well-being. The newspaper “BauernZeitung” has published a report.

Monday, October 25, 2021

Consumer awareness of environmental issues is growing. As a result, we are seeing a steady increase in demand for foods produced in a way that uses resources efficiently. Given global population growth and an increasing need for agricultural land, there is more demand than ever before for alternative sources of protein. Migros, Bühler and Givaudan believe that the use of cellular agriculture to produce cultured meat represents a great opportunity. The advantages are obvious: There is no need for livestock farming or antibiotics, less land and water are required, and animals need not be slaughtered. Consumers are learning more and more about the advantages of alternative meat, the three companies contend.


Sustainable meat through biotechnology

With their newly launched Cultured Food Innovation Hub, Migros, Bühler and Givaudan are making their technology and expertise available and supporting startups in their efforts to produce cultured meat, fish and other kinds of seafood. In a press release, they announced plans to add facilities for cell cultures and precision fermentation. The hub is expected to begin operations in 2022. In a laboratory, fermentation will be used to culture meat products from animal cells. The goal is to produce cultured meat with a taste and texture that are indistinguishable from meat taken from an animal. If this effort is successful, future meat lovers will be able to enjoy steaks and hamburgers in good conscience. Modern technology is opening up entirely new business areas for the food industry.

Precision fermentation

In biotechnology, fermentation refers to the transformation of organic material through microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi or enzymes (ferments). This process produces acid, gas or alcohol. We have long known about the process of fermentation, and products like wine, cheese, yoghurt, bread, beer, chocolate and sauerkraut would be inconceivable without it. Microorganisms are able to create large amounts of substances that would be difficult to produce solely through chemical processes. In precision fermentation, bacteria can be used, combined and programmed in a precise way to improve a product’s taste or optimize its texture. This makes it possible to produce animal-free animal proteins in large tanks from plant-based raw materials. With precision fermentation, a growth medium could be created for growing meat quickly in the laboratory.

Resource-efficient agriculture

Resource efficiency refers to the efficient use of technical and economic as well as natural resources. It is defined as “the ratio of a certain benefit or result to the resources that must be used to achieve it.” Resource-efficient agricultural production seeks to optimize harvest yields while using as few production resources as possible (including labor, financial resources, energy, land, water, fertilizer and pesticides) and putting as little burden as possible on natural resources (water, soil, biodiversity, air and the climate), while achieving the largest and highest-quality yield possible.

Related articles

Clearing house for patent rights: Not in the interests of inventors and food security
Media

Clearing house for patent rights: Not in the interests of inventors and food security

On 22 May 2024, the Federal Council submitted a draft revision of patent law for consultation. A new clearing centre is planned to improve the transparency of patents in the field of plant breeding. While transparency is fundamentally positive, the chosen approach is problematic. Instead of the beneficiaries, it imposes new obligations on innovators and means that Switzerland is going it alone. This is a bad signal for innovative companies.

Tomato salad to combat vitamin D deficiency
Media

Tomato salad to combat vitamin D deficiency

Modern breeding methods can contribute to better health. For this reason, Bayer wants to use genome editing to breed more nutritious vegetables. In collaboration with the South Korean biotech company G+FLAS, tomato varieties are to be developed that are enriched with vitamin D3. Vitamin D deficiency is widespread and can lead to health problems such as rickets or osteoporosis.

Drink water without hesitation
Media

Drink water without hesitation

Various mineral waters were tested for purity for the French consumer programme «A Bon Entendeur’». Residues of degradation products of the pesticide chlorothalonil were found in some of them. However, according to ecotoxicologist Nathalie Chèvre from the University of Lausanne, there is no cause for concern.

Chlorothalonil – communication with cost consequences
Media

Chlorothalonil – communication with cost consequences

Once upon a time there was a canton in Seldwyla. In order to better regulate access traffic to a larger town, the canton decided to install so-called "gatekeeper systems" on the access roads, i.e. traffic lights that stop private traffic and thus access to the town by means of red lights when traffic in the town itself comes to a standstill.

More contributions from Media