Mosa Meat announces how to cultivate protein without FBS26 Jan 2022
Mosa Meat, one of the world’s leading cultivated meat producers, revealed how it creates animal protein without the use of the controversial ingredient FBS (fetal bovine serum) in a peer-reviewed article published in the journal Nature Food.
While the information on how to create differentiated muscle fibers to give meat its characteristic texture and bite is now publicly available, Mosa Meat is not giving away its secrets entirely. The company filed a patent for its cell feed formulation, which it says means that the information “is publicly available but protected for commercial use for a limited amount of years.”
In the study, the company describes how it uses an approach known as serum-starvation — a process of abruptly reducing FBS in the cell feed — in order to create variances in the muscular makeup of the meat that is generated from stem cells. By providing stem cells with various degrees of nutrition, Mosa Meat says it is able to control protein expressions that then lead to a convincing fabrication of animal tissue with the same structure and texture as conventional meat.
“By specifically activating these proteins (known as ‘receptors’), we are now able to recreate the same transition in the absence of any FBS,” Mosa Meat’s Tobias Messmer and lead author on the paper said.
Since it was founded in 2016, this Israeli cultivated meat company has been generous about sharing and open-sourcing its ideas around how to create animal-free, cell-cultured meat. Previously, the company has shared techniques on its own website about how to achieve muscle and fat parity in cultivated creations. The company has done so while simultaneously championing removing FBS from its formulation not only because of the ingredient's controversial ties to animals but also because “our animal-free process also brings down costs and increases scalability.”
Now, this latest paper is once again providing the market with additional information on how to craft cultivated meat with an eye toward reducing costs.
“Although the decision to publish this information could be seen as competitively sensitive, we highly value openness and transparency for the advancement of the entire cellular agriculture field,” company founder Maarten Bosch said in a statement.
While the information shared in this paper is a milestone for the cultivated meat industry, it remains the case that the only place in which cultivated meat is commercially available is in Singapore where Eat Just sells its cultivated chicken products. Nevertheless, many companies globally are working to achieve regulatory approval for their formulations, indicating that a proliferation of cultivated meat options may be just around the corner.
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