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Cultivated Meat: The Risk of Food Scarcity and How Modern Technologies Can Help, by Mark Post

About this event

Since the start of scientific development of cultivated meat in 2005 major steps have been made to convert this medical technology into a food production process. Based on traditional cell and tissue culture for medical applications, the unimaginable scale and need for low-cost production in food and other consumer goods are challenges of technical and logistic nature. Not only rigorous optimization of existing processes but also novel scientific development is required to overcome these challenges, such as finding new nutrient sources for cell culture.

Growth of astronomical numbers of mammalian cells require extensive upstream and downstream bioprocess development and perhaps innovation in bioreactor design. In addition to massive cell expansion, the cells need to form tissue. Biomaterials and coatings play a big role in this innovation, as will manufacturing. They are currently necessary as scaffolds for cell and tissue production, and their use will be extended when more complex tissues such as ribeye steaks or large sheets of leather are being created.

To reduce the cost of production, feedstock that is traditionally pharma-grade will be exchanged for food-grade substitutes and possible cruder hydrolysates. Consumer related challenges of a more ethical nature also need to faced. The need for animal-component free culture of cells and tissues, abstinence of antibiotics and, for some consumers, genetic modification limit the solution-space available to developers of cultivated meat and less so for leather. At the same time, consumers are increasingly willing to accept alternative sources of meat and leather, giving the field an appreciable tailwind.  

Given the huge potential for improvement and extension of applied tissue engineering for food, this will be an exciting scientific endeavor for the next couple of decades, that may have unexpected spin off for medical applications as well.  

Hosted by

  • Guest speaker
    PF G
    Phillippe Fürst Group-IPS

  • Guest speaker
    Dr. Mark Post Co-founder @ Mosa Meat

    Dr Mark Post, MD/PhD, has had several academic appointments at Utrecht University, Harvard University, Dartmouth college, Eindhoven University of Technology and Maastricht University. He currently is professor of Sustainable Industrial Tissue Engineering at Maastricht University. He is visiting professor at Harvard, University of Modena and faculty at Singularity University.

  • Team member
    HB T
    Hynek Bartík

  • Guest speaker
    PF G
    Philippe Fürst Group-IPS


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