BSF Enterprise shares leap on lab meat breakthrough
Laboratory-produced meat has moved a step closer to reality, with the announcement by( ) that its wholly-owned subsidiary 3D Bio-Tissues (3DBT), a clinical and cellular agriculture company, had successfully produced the UK's first pork steak fillet of structured cultivated meat in its Newcastle-based laboratory.
The lab-based fillet is the first to be cultivated – and subsequently eaten by 3DBT’s management team - without the need for conventional plant-based scaffolds, blends or fillers that have previously been used by the industry to ensure structural integrity of cultivated meat products.
The 100% meat fillet was cultivated using the company’s patented cell-boosting supplement City-mix which turns extracted pig cells into structured meat. The technology reduces the need for expensive growth factors by growing cells in a way that eliminates the need for scaffolds, and thus improves yields.
The City-mix technology, which is available on a standalone commercial basis, will now be showcased more widely, giving third parties the opportunity to try the product outside of the laboratory.
3DBT’s chief executive, Dr Che Connon, commented: “City-mixTM, our serum free media in which we cultivated the fillet, is helping to greatly reduce the cost of cultivated meat such that it may become economically viable in the near future…Our cruelty-free fillet has exceeded our expectations in all respects, and we are extremely excited about the technological progress we are making and the impact this could have upon our industry.”
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Although still in the early phases of its commercial development, 3DBT’s breakthrough is encouraging in respect of both the potential for lowering the cost and - by more closely resembling the look, taste and texture of real meat - driving consumer acceptance of lab-grown meat.
What’s more, lab-grown meat could be an important step in reducing greenhouse gas emissions such as carbon dioxide and methane from traditional meat production, which account for around a quarter of all greenhouse gases.
Growing awareness of the environmental impact of food production is a key reason why millions more are turning to vegan and vegetarian lifestyles. One recent survey suggested that there were now over 1 million vegans in the UK, around 1.5% of the total population, a figure which has been growing quickly and which would imply almost 100m vegans worldwide. The number of vegans in the US grew 600% from 2m to 20m between 2014 and 108.
3DBT is well-positioned to tap into this burgeoning growth having recently doubled its lab production capacity to 2,400 sq. ft, allowing it to produce 1,000 litres of City-mix a month. As well as enabling 100% lab-grown meat, the company plans to deploy the serum for artificial leather production, and in skin care and skin replacement products.
BSF’s shares climbed 20% on the news, and have quadrupled since November last year.
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