Scientists at the Russian steMeat company keep working on the technology for producing meat from animal cells. The company aims to enter the market with this product in 2025. This was announced by Danil Maklakov, founder and CEO of the company, at the DeepFoodTech international conference hosted by the EFKO Group.
He mentioned that there are no plans to sell the meat under the company’s brand but only to cultivate it for other companies. He claims that scientists at steMeat have mastered the technology that allows them to grow meat from any type of animal cell.
Currently, the cost of producing cultivated meat in Russia is estimated at 1,780 rubles per kg. The expert noted that it is significantly cheaper than that of US companies due to the difference in the cost of the growth medium. Russian developers believe that the cost of production may be reduced even more with large production volumes.
The production process takes 21 days. 1 gram of cells is enough to produce 400 grams of meat. “In fact, the production technology hasn’t been changed in any way. It includes the first step of isolating cells, their multiplication in a bioreactor, and the consequent isolation of the product,” said the CEO.
Lab-grown meat has the same nutritional value as conventional meat. It contains the same amount of calories, proteins, and fats as specified by Danila Maklakov. According to him, the main obstacle to entering the market is the lack of certification.
He noted that the cell-meat industry is developing worldwide. The greatest interest in cell-meat production is shown by the USA, China, and Singapore. For instance, GOOD Meat announced the launch of sales of cultivated chicken meat at Singapore's Huber's Butchery. Currently, about 156 companies worldwide are engaged in the development of lab-grown meat, including Nestle, Merck KGaA, Mitsubishi, JBS, etc., said the expert.
At the same time, investments in cultivated protein in 2022 decreased compared to 2021. “This means that either investors have enough of these assets in their investment portfolios or that the industry is facing a decline in support,” said Danil Maklakov. He also added that there is a trend of merging startups in this industry aimed at speeding up the release of such products into the market.