Cellular agriculture key technology for food security


With the global population estimated to expand to around 10 billion by 2050, the call for a sustainable food system to meet the global protein needs iss on the rise. “Cellular agriculture” is emerging as one of the key technologies for decarbonizing protein production systems by directly producing products from cells, as opposed to raising an animal for slaughter or growing crops, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Misa Singh, Business Fundamentals Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Cellular agriculture is an emerging solution for alternative proteins. Governments and companies are promoting investments in the field. The Dutch government has announced a EUR60 million investment into the field. The US FDA issued the first ‘No Questions’ letter about the safety of UPSIDE Foods’ cultivated chicken product.” 

Australian Ethical Investment speaks about supporting the growth of alternative protein markets (plant-based meat and cellular agriculture) to minimize the pressure on deforestation, carbon emissions, and animal suffering.

An analysis of GlobalData’s Company Filings Analytics Database reveals that companies such as Agronomics and SEED Innovations are making investments focused on producing and commercialising cellular agricultural products.

SEED Innovations invested EUR125,000 in Clean Food Group, a biotech company focused on cellular agriculture and commercialization of bio-equivalent palm oil production by fermentation. Agronomics invested on CellX Ltd, a Chinese company producing cultivated meat Companies such as Agronomics indicate that animal agriculture produces 18% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, with 12% of these emissions coming from deforestation made to grow crops.

This has accelerated the need for technologies to reduce these emissions, and cellular agriculture could emerge as an effective solution. Companies are also partnering to help accelerate the creation of affordable cultivated meat. Qkine has partnered with 3DBT to combine its protein engineering technology with 3DBT’s animal-free media supplement City-Mix to cultivate muscle and fat cells for mass production of affordable cultivated meat.

Singh concludes: “The demand for protein is threatening to overwhelm the supply, and cellular agriculture is an emerging sustainable option limiting greenhouse emissions impacting climate. However, companies and investors need to consider the unpredictable biological processes involved in cell and tissue culture bioprocessing along with risks associated with delays, supplies, or services required for research and development.”


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