Czech start-up Bene Meat Technologies has the necessary technology for its production, and will apply for its approval in the US and the EU in early 2023
Prague, 9. 1. 2023
The global race for the first mass-produced product in cultured meat** may have a surprise winner. The first economically meaningful and mass-produced product will most likely be pet food!
“A tasty, high-quality, and visually attractive steak is the holy grail in the development of cultured meat. However, on the research journey behind this sophisticated final product, our company generates a significant amount of knowledge and products with the possibility of new uses. These products were not our original focus, but now they are becoming an equal priority. That is why we are intensively dedicated to the technology of producing raw materials for pet food,” explains Roman Kříž, Managing Director of the Czech research project, Bene Meat Technologies (BMT).
The market is proving BMT right. The production of pet food is both energy and ecologically demanding; at its current size, it is responsible for 25% of the carbon footprint of animal husbandry. According to the latest survey published in Harvard Dataverse, this aspect is viewed critically by more than 50% of breeders, 90% of whom regularly provide animal feed.
Almost 40% of pet owners perceive the ethical dimension of animal breeding and slaughter as problematic, and 50% would like to feed their pets with ethically and environmentally sound feed based on cultured meat (CM).
According to a recently conducted Czech survey*** on this topic, the number is similar in the Czech Republic – 48% of respondents would prefer CM in PET FOOD due to its health safety, 36% believe in higher quality raw materials, and 27% unanimously cited ethical and ecological aspects of production as being reasons for buying CM.
But is the market of feed producers ready for change? “According to our findings, this industry faces a number of challenges, ranging from increasing market regulation in terms of quality requirements, through fluctuating input prices, to complicated supply flows, and the contamination of products within the production process,” Roman Kříž explains. “We want to offer PET FOOD producers a technology that allows them to produce the key components of the final feed in a bioreactor, economically, efficiently, humanely, with constant quality, and without the need to rely on suppliers,” he adds.
BMT is now finalizing the development of technology for scalable**** production of the main feed ingredients based on animal cell lines. At this stage, the scientific team would like to involve the relevant PET FOOD manufacturers, so that the resulting product is compatible with their product and process requirements.
“We believe that our product, in the form of a completely scalable technology, will meet all of the needs of feed producers – we will deliver an economical and reliable technology for the production of animal feed input material that will meet the highest demands for environmental protection, humaneness, and nutritional values. All of this together, along with the know-how of feed producers, will lead to an expansion of the range for animal lovers, and a solution to their current production problems,” says Roman Kříž in closing.
* PET FOOD – food for pets
**Cultured meat – a term referring to meat (including muscle cells, fat cells, connective tissue, blood, and other components) produced by culturing animal cells, not by slaughtering a live animal. (Source: New Harvest – a research institute that aims to accelerate progress in cellular agriculture)
*** Survey October 2022– Nms market research, October 2022
****Scalable – a product produced on a mass scale, and of standardized quality, and capable of responding to market changes.
Bene Meat Technologies
A Czech start-up company founded in 2020, with a focus on the development and commercialization of cultured meat in the food and feed industry. It is a sister company of BTL Medical Technologies, which is a leading manufacturer of devices in the field of aesthetic medicine, physiotherapy, and cardiology. Currently, Bene Meat employs an international team of more than 60 researchers and developers. BMT aims to develop technology that produces cultured meat by multiplying animal cells without using raw materials from slaughtered animals, while allowing operators to offer this product at prices that are affordable to consumers.
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