A new report by ResearchandMarkets says the global cultivated meat ingredients market is undergoing a “transformative shift” and will see significant expansion over the next five years.

The report says that as the food tech industry expands and advancements are made in isolating and proliferating animal cells and bioreactor technology, cultivated meat products will be able to be scaled effectively, thereby boosting the market for cultivated meat ingredients.

Cultivated meat by French start-up Vitalmeat.
Cultivated meat by French start-up Vitalmeat.

It also noted that innovation by way of using cost-effective ingredients such as algae, microorganisms, and plant-based ingredients as nutrient sources for cultivated cells could be another source of growth for the market.

However, the report notes the challenges the cultivated meat industry currently faces, such as production costs achieving parity with those of the conventional meat industry and scaling production without a dip in quality.

With regards to cost, the use of foetal bovine serum as a common growth medium for cultivated meat cells has heretofore kept costs high. However, a wide number of companies are now developing alternatives to reduce the costs while also skirting the ethical, safety, and supply chain issues associated with foetal bovine serum.

The report also refers to regulatory hurdles facing the industry – as of today, Singapore and the US are the only countries to have approved the sale of certain cultivated meat products.

However, Australia is expected to approve its first products within this year, with the first cultivated meat company to apply for certification passing the safety inspection phase late last year.   

Vow's quail product would be the first cultivated meat to be approved in ANZ.
Cultivated quail product from Australian company Vow.

France and Italy recently introduced legislation banning the production and commercialisation of cultivated meat products, which could present more barriers to the industry’s development.

The report finally cites consumer acceptance as a barrier to adoption, emphasising the importance of educational initiatives to build awareness and understanding of cultivated meat. 

Novel meat products were officially endorsed by the UN for the first time on 8 December as a possible means to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) produced by the global food system.

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