An exciting progression in the world of artificial meat was announced a few days ago as cultured meat products were officially approved by the USDA for commercial sale in the US. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is the US authority responsible for developing laws and approvals surrounding farming, forestry and food. This news surrounds multiple companies receiving approval for their cultured meat products to be sold commercially in the US, which includes GOOD Meat and Upside Foods. This approval outlines a milestone in the alternative meat industry, especially for the biological innovation of cultivated meat from cell harvesting.
Cultured meat, otherwise known as lab-grown meat, is a revolutionary concept in the field of food technology and is on the front-line of innovation in the world of biology. It involves producing animal meat by cultivating animal cells in a controlled laboratory environment, eliminating the need for traditional livestock farming. Through a process called cellular agriculture, scientists extract a small sample of animal cells using a needle biopsy, the cells then multiply through proliferation in a lab setting. Over time, these cells develop into protein tissue that closely resembles conventional meat, both in terms of texture and taste.
Cultured meat holds great potential for addressing various global challenges, such as reduced emissions and land clearing from managing livestock along with the long-term potential for faster production and reduced costs of manufacturing. These are all key value drivers increasing the demand and development of this sector.
This announcement has stemmed from multiple companies receiving commercial sale approval in the US over the past month. The company GOOD Meat, a subsidiary of Eat Just Inc. received commercial sale approval in the US for its cultivated chicken product, manufactured in a lab from animal cells. Another notable company, Upside Foods debuted its cultured chicken product made from 99% chicken cells. The company previously received FDA approval in the US in November 2022, making it the first company in the world to receive a No Questions letter for a cultured meat product. After receiving their USDA approval in June 2023, Upside can now distribute its cultured chicken meat at scale. According to sources, achieving their Grant of Inspection (GOI) for their Engineering, Production, and Innovation Center (EPIC) would be the final regulatory step in their process to become a major producer.
This news outlines a significant step forward for the industry as previously cultured meat was only approved for sale in Singapore (from late 2020). Now with the US market opened up for sale and distribution, a huge growth opportunity is prevalent, it’s expected now other developed nations will soon follow.
Such industry progress outlines the growing demand for biotechnological innovations which provide new products and redefine practices and behaviours in our world. As a key player in this industry, Smart MCs provides companies the ability to scale up their manufacturing of cultured meat through our biodegradable microcarriers used for rapid cell growth. If you’d like to learn more about our role in this emerging industry visit What is Cultured Meat? or check out What are Microcarriers?
Vegconomist (June, 2023) Cultivated Meat Officially Approved by USDA: Here’s What This Means for Europe.
Vegconomist (June 2023) Setting the Record Straight: Eat Just is First Cultivated Meat Company to Receive USDA Label Approval
Aubrey A. (June 2023) ‘No kill’ meat, grown from animal cells, is now approved for sale in the U.S. NPR. Health News