ISRAEL – Israeli-based cultivated meat company, Aleph Farms, in partnership with Enzymit biotech company, has successfully developed a new processing aid for animal-free serum in the form of insulin-like proteins to support cell growth in cultivated meat processing.
According to Aleph Farms, the cultivated meat industry is growing rapidly but relies on expensive and low-scale pharmaceutical inputs that often do not meet the requirements for cell growth in bioreactors.
‘Developing more suitable processing aids for the production of cultivated meat is imperative for driving economies of scale and taking cultivated meat mainstream,” said Aleph Farms.
Aleph Farms further explained that insulin proteins are not widely available in quantity, quality, and cost for large-scale production, therefore, to grow slaughter-free meat, they must develop non-animal-derived processing aids to advance their operations.
“This innovation, combining Enzymit’s outstanding protein design and experimental capabilities with our team’s expertise in cellular agriculture, is helping build the foundations for our sector to achieve cost-efficiency and long-term impact,” it noted.
Enzymit leverages AI and deep learning to create new enzymes that fulfill unmet market needs and, in collaboration, the new proteins will have the same function and more activity per molecule than those found in animals.
Besides reducing the cost and time associated with the production of insulin proteins, this collaboration opens the door to further potential benefits.
Insulin is a highly conserved protein across mammals and other species, allowing the production of different types of cultivated meat, such as pork and poultry.
“Aleph Farms has been an invaluable partner for this initiative, which can pave the way for more cost-efficient production of cultivated meat,” Enzymit reported.
“With recombinant proteins currently accounting for the overwhelming majority of cell culture costs, creating highly stable and more active insulin substituents can markedly reduce the cost of growth media and increase efficiency in producing cultivated meat on scale.”
According to analysts’ research, the growing demand for proteins, along with a fast-growing population, has resulted in an increasing need for technological developments to cater to the global protein demand in the upcoming decade.
The growing population, coupled with increased meat demand, has driven changes in the technological landscape to reduce the shortage of meat supply globally.
In addition, research indicates that increased federal funding toward cellular agriculture in developed countries such as the U.S. will provide opportunities for growth in demand for cultivated meat in the country.
The support from regulatory bodies and governments in certain countries to push investment and funding toward the cultured meat sector will be significant in the approval and commercialization of cultivated meat.
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