EUROPE – BioCraft Pet Nutrition, a company developing cultured meat for the pet food market, has derived and characterized a chicken cell line for both cat and dog food, adding another meat ingredient to its portfolio that already includes cultured mouse meat.

Derived from stem cells, according to BioCraft, the chicken line is neither genetically modified nor immortalized.

“The cultured chicken ingredient contains all essential nutrients including protein levels, key vitamins, fats and amino acids, such as taurine typically found in traditional animal protein sources,” the startup said.

According to the company’s  CEO Dr Shannon Falconer, she decided to apply her biochemistry background to the concept of making meat-based pet food but growing that meat from animal cells in a bioreactor.

“Our mission is to make a dent in terms of taking animals out of the supply chain,” she said.

“In June, US regulators approved the sale of chicken made from animal cells for use in human foods. But no territory has approved cultivated meat as a pet food ingredient, yet.”

Dr Falconer further explained that compared to the EU regulatory authorities, the FDA is willing and open to having discussions before a company has a full scientific dossier ready to submit.

She noted that the start-up is working on all those aspects to demonstrate the entire process and provide the regulators with the full scientific dossier to move forward with the review for approval.

BioCraft meat is made from cells grown under process conditions inside a bioreactor. Key nutrients the animal cells produce include taurine, vitamin D3 and vitamin A.

While textural challenges plague companies working on cultured meat for human consumption, having pet food as its target market means BioCraft can bypass such concerns entirely as companion animals are less discerning when it comes to perfecting meat’s look, taste, and texture.

With pet food though, the BioCraft is creating a different product by not just harvesting the biomass, but also harvesting that entire nutritional blend that factor makes that process far more scalable and economically viable.

In addition, rather than choosing to purchase rendered ingredients, they will increasingly purchase cultured meat ingredients for environmental reasons and offer a more stable supply chain as animal feed and pet food ingredients supply are historically extremely volatile.

In terms of the next steps, the company is starting to build up to its Series that will go towards financing the infrastructure, and CapEx, for a first pilot-scale manufacturing facility.

The location of that facility would ideally be close to our first customer so we can reduce our environmental footprint when it comes to shipping.


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