New Zealand’s Fonterra has invested in a US start-up, Motif Ingredients, that develops and commercialises bio-engineered animal and food ingredients.
Alternative meat products’ global sales are expected to reach US$7.5 billion (NZ$11.3b) by 2025, and attracting a lot of investors. Motif raised US$90m in its first funding round.
With so many investments in the alternative meat market, what are the consumers’ views on lab cultured meat? Main concerns for them is from the health and safety aspects. While some consumers says “they would eat a few vegetarian meals a week to reduce meat consumption than go for alternatives”, others favor that “lab-gown used less land and less water than conventional agriculture” and are fine with the shift to alternatives.
However, most available alternative meat proteins in the market are using plants such as soy, peas etc. In some cases like Quorn, a mince substitute, uses protein obtained from fungi. Most known is the Impossible Burger made with lab-cultured plant proteins that mimics real meat with its ability to 'bleed'. It uses DNA from soy plants and inserts it into genetically engineered yeast, and then ferments it to produce the blood-like heme!
Yet another company - Sunfed produces chicken alternative with pea protein - that closely mimics the texture of chicken meat.
However, what Motif aims is to produce is proteins derived from dairy, egg and meat, using genetic engineering and fermentation.
Find out more about alternative proteins at CMT’s Food Proteins EUROPE 2019 on 17-18 October, 2019 in Copenhagen.