The Spanish government granted BioTech Foods €5.2 million ($6.3 million USD) this week for the company’s cultured meat project. The project will investigate the health benefits of cultured meat, and determine if cultured meat lacks the common health concerns associated with animal meat, such as increasing the risk of high cholesterol and certain cancers.
Like other cultured meat companies, BioTech Foods extracts cells from living animals without causing harm to the animal. The cells are then multiplied in a controlled envrionment. As a result, the multiplied cells become muscle tissue, which can be used to create different meat analogs. BioTech Foods’ cultured meat brand is called Ethicameat, and it appears the brand produces multispecies cultured meat products. The brand’s first prototypes so far include meatballs and a chicken cutlet.
This is not the first time the Spanish government has provided funding for a cultured meat company. During the first week of 2021, the government granted 3D and cultured meat producers, Nova Meat, €250,000 (~$307,500 USD). In the U.S., UC Davis received a $3.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation (a government agency) to research cultivated meat and develop methods to amplify stem cells efficiently. With the Singapore government’s regulatory approval of Eat JUST’s first commercial sale of cultured meat, there now seems to be an opportunity for other cultured meat companies to ramp up R&D efforts to get their products to market.
It is currently unclear how long BioTech Foods’ project will take. However, by the end of the project, the company aims to have a cultured meat product containing healthy fats and functional ingredients that is healthier than traditional meat. The positive environmental impacts of cultured meat have often been touted by companies in this space, but the health benefits of cultured meat may also be an important selling point for hesitant consumers.