It seems the team that created the world’s first lab-grown hamburger has achieved another milestone that could help usher in a post-industrial meat era.
Mosa Meat announced today they have achieved an 80x reduction in the cost of the growth medium for their lab-grown meat. According to the announcement, the achievement was driven by the company’s “Media Optimisation” team.
Mosa Meat is famously founded by Mark Post and Peter Verstrate, the same Dutch research team that created the world’s first cultured meat in 2013. A nascent cultured meat industry has sprung up since those early days and now, as the world’s industrial meat supply comes under increasing strain, the same team that brought us the $325,000 hamburger is working towards achieving a scale of production that could one day match that of the industrial meat processing world.
To achieve that scale, one of the key gating factors will be a reduction in the cost of the growth medium, the nutrient “soup” that feeds the animal cells so they can replicate. Part of that transition is to move away from FBS (Fetal Bovine Serum), something Mosa announced they had achieved last year. FBS is the standard growth medium used by the cultured meat industry, but it is both expensive and seen as inhumane since it is gathered from the blood of pregnant dairy cows at slaughter.
With the reduction in cost of growth medium and the launch of a new pilot production plant, Mosa Meat is attempting to build a foundation to produce cultured meat at a price closer to that of Big Mac than that famous first burger created in a lab almost 10 years ago. This vision of a scalable cultured meat future is a large reason why the company was able to raise an additional €5 million earlier this month from Bell Food Group, further upping the investment by one of the largest meat processors in Europe.