SWITZERLAND – Swiss food manufacturing giant Nestlé  is exploring emerging technologies for cultured meat, a novel concept that is quickly gaining popularity as a more environmentally friendly alternative to animal protein. 

The company in a statement said it is evaluating innovative technologies to produce cultured meat or cultured-meat ingredients with several external partners and start-ups.  

Future Meat Technologies, a leading cultured-meat start-up, is one of the startups that Nestlé  has said it is working with to explore the potential of cultured-meat components that do not compromise on taste or sustainability. 

“Future Meat Technologies’ novel and cost-efficient proprietary technology can produce non-GMO cultured-meat components from animal cells, therefore reducing the need for land and resources to raise animals,” Nestle said. 

Plant-based: not close to the real thing

Nestlé partnerships come at a time when people are increasingly reducing or eliminating animal products from their diet for many reasons including animal welfare, health, and wellness as well as environmental concerns.  

This shift in consumer preferences has led to the rapid growth of plant-based meat and dairy alternatives.   

To cater to this demand, Nestlé offers a wide range of meat and dairy alternatives that are suitable for flexitarians, vegans, vegetarians, as well as people with special dietary needs. 

Plant-based alternatives are however not as close to animal protein as consumers would prefer.  

There is normally an issue around the taste and texture of the products that make consumers salivate for the real meat. 

This has created interest in cultured meat products which have the potential to offer all the characteristics of meat but without its negative attributes. 

Only one company is approved to make cultured meat

Although great progress has been made in the area of research and innovation, only one company is currently approved to make cultured meat for public consumption — Eat Just’s Good Meat in Singapore. 

While the world’s first cell-based meat product has already gone on the market, there is much speculation as to where the second one will appear and which company will provide it. 

Future Meat Technologies is one of the front runners showing great potential in giving the world its second cell-based meat product. 

The Israeli –based company recently started operations at its pilot plant which is working first on cell-based chicken. 

Given its great potential, Future Meat was an easy choice for Nestlé which like many food companies is salivating at the prospect of becoming one of the leaders in the cultured meat industry. 

The prospect is even more tempting given that the cultured meat market is expected to grow at an impressive 15.7% annual CAGR growth during the forecast period of 2021-2026, according to recent projections by Research and Markets. 

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