In recent years going plant-based has transformed from an expensive and inaccessible health trend into a common diet for millions. Americans are increasingly eating once hard-to-find plant-based options, like Beyond Burger patties.
Fans say the process is more flexible and sustainable than traditional agriculture. Cellular agriculture, also known as lab-grown meat, sounds like it should be created in a space-age laboratory. The process is actually much simpler. Cellular agriculture uses real animal cells that are grown in a stainless-steel tank known as a bioreactor. The process can be used to produce a product that resembles chicken, beef, pork and other meats.
A key challenge for producing cultivated meat is that kilograms of biomass must be efficiently created from just a few cells removed from a live animal as a biopsy or initiated from a cell line. The process used to produce massive quantities of cells is typically carried out in a specialized tank called a bioreactor – the same technology used to grow the specialized cells that produce many types of biologic drugs.
Big Idea Ventures is welcoming a second cohort of start-ups to its New Protein Fund accelerator. From cellular agriculture, to bio-fermentation and plant-based innovation, Managing Partner Andrew Ive shares his thoughts on building a more sustainable food system.