Food and Beverage Business

North East innovators receive half a million fund to support development of lab-grown meat for broader consumption

North East innovators receive half a million fund to support development of lab-grown meat for broader consumption innovators, lab grown meat, North East Food and Beverage Business

Three organizations based in the North-East are poised to solidify the region’s reputation as the UK’s center for cultivated (lab-grown) meat production. They have secured a grant of nearly half a million pounds from Innovate UK to pioneer innovative technologies in the growing market of food manufacturing.

Collaborating on this endeavor are the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), MarraBio, and Aelius Biotech. Together, they aim to develop cost-effective food production systems with reduced emissions compared to current practices, thanks to engineered protein materials from MarraBio.

MarraBio’s technology involves engineering protein building blocks that carry biological instructions for cell growth and behavior. These blocks form sturdy chains that provide an ideal surface for cell cultivation on an industrial scale, setting the stage for more affordable cultivated meat production.

The project responds to the pressing need for sustainable food sources, as traditional meat production accounts for up to 60% of greenhouse gas emissions from food production. Cultivated meat presents a promising solution, potentially reducing emissions by up to 90%.

Consumer interest in cultivated meat is on the rise, with 32% of UK consumers open to trying it, according to a recent Food Standards Agency study. This growing demand underscores the importance of developing cost-effective food manufacturing systems.

The project will take place at the Novel Food Innovation Centre in Wilton, Redcar, and is slated for completion by December 2024. Brendan Fish, Biologics director at CPI, expressed enthusiasm for the collaboration, emphasizing the North-East’s role in advancing greener food production systems.

MarraBio’s CEO, Dr. Daniel Peters, highlighted the project’s goal of enhancing material manufacturing for cultivated meat production. Dr. Peter Chater, CEO of Aelius Biotech, underscored the potential of lab-grown meat as a sustainable protein source, underscoring the importance of their partnership with Marrabio and CPI.

In conclusion, by leveraging innovative technologies and collaborative efforts, these organizations are driving forward the development of cultivated meat production in the UK, setting a strong foundation for a more sustainable future in food manufacturing.