In 2021, wider production and regulatory approval of cell-based meat is moving toward reality. With this funding round, the first company that created cell-based meat in 2013 can get closer to its goal of getting slaughter-free beef onto the market.
In December, Post told Food Dive the company was working to scale up its production so it could make enough cell-based meat to seek regulatory approval in Europe. He estimated then the company would be able to put in an application in the first half of 2021. Mosa Meat is aiming to have a product on the market at the end of 2022.
As the original creator of cell-based meat, Mosa Meat set many of the broad production targets both for itself and the entire cell-based meat space. The first hamburger Post created cost about $280,000 to make, but that price point mainly came from the components needed to make it — namely pricey fetal bovine serum for the cell growth medium. Based on this initial cost, Mosa Meat set its sights on reducing it.
Mosa Meat is one of many cell-based meat companies that has already had a busy year in the run up to develop products and technology.
Israel-based Future Meat Technologies, which is working toward a 2022 product launch in Israel and the United States, announced this month it can produce a cell-based chicken breast for $7.50. Future Meat also received $26.75 in new funding in the form of a convertible note. Earlier this month, Israel’s Aleph Farms created the world’s first slaughter-free ribeye steak through cell cultivation and 3D printing. And BlueNalu, a California company making cell-based seafood, received $60 million in debt financing last month.
BlueNalu is using those funds to open a new headquarters and pilot plant and ramp up staff and equipment in order to have enough product to put on menus by the end of this year — which is when the company is expecting to have regulatory approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
With funding, new facilities and new developments, cell-based meat companies are making progress toward their goals of producing affordable products. What is less clear is what kind of progress regulatory authorities in different countries are making toward ensuring these products can be sold. The regulators have largely been quiet about their progress, but the companies working with them say they are confident that everything will be in place when they have products available.