07. March 2019
Farm & Food 2019 Session Review
In 2013 Professor Mark Post presented the first burger from cell cultures. Its production cost 230,000 euros. Since then, numerous start-ups have been established in the field of meat cell culture. The latest addition to the family has been the presentation of the first in vitro steak with three-dimensional structure by the Israeli company Aleph Farms in December 2018. What may sound strange today could soon end up on your plate. A fitting topic for the Farm & Food 2019 conference.
Clean Meat should not be a substitute, but a new category of meat
Didier Toubia, managing director and co-founder of ALEPH FARMS, presented the technology used, the timeline of the market launch and the planned market price of his Clean Meat. The technology for production has originally been used in human medicine. The company was able to isolate cells that are responsible for the regrowth of dead cells in animals’ bodies. They have created optimal conditions under which these cells grow into muscle tissue. This allows them to create complex tissue structures which are very similar to “real” meat.
According to Toubia, it will take at least another two years to complete the research, develop a first product, and maybe another year or two until serial production can start. Of course, the price of cell culture meat will initially be higher than that of conventionally produced meat, says Toubia. However, with increasing production he is expecting falling prices, with about six Dollars per kilo. To put it in a nutshell: Clean Meat should not be a substitute for conventional meat, but a new category of meat products.
Meat the Future
A panel discussion addressed the disruptive potential of meat from the Petri dish. Representatives of food production and trade same together: Prof. Dr. Hans-Wilhelm Windhorst from the University of Vechta, Peter Wesjohann, Managing Director of WIESENHOF, Dr. Simone Frey, Founder of Future of Nutrition, Fabio Ziemßen, Food Innovation Director at NX-FOOD (METRO), Didier Toubia, Founder of Aleph Farms and Prof. Dr. med. Dr. Andreas Hensel, President of the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment.
They focused on questions of when the clean meat revolution will take place and why large meat producers like Wiesenhof are now investing. It was also agreed that the acceptance of the customers was fundamental to the market success of Clean Meat. Also questions about regulation and labelling of this new kind of food remain still largely unanswered. /sl