- California-based Eat Just’s cultivated meat division Good Meat has just received approval by the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) to use a new material in which to grow its cultivated meat products. Until now, the industry has largely relied on fetal serum, which necessitates extraction from live animal fetuses.
- Good Meat says the approval of its new serum-free media is the first of its kind and will enable them to increase the production of its cultivated chicken while lowering its manufacturing costs.
- This new milestone is an addition to the company’s other regulatory breakthroughs. In 2020, Eat Just got the green light by the SFA to sell its cultured chicken, which was followed by subsequent approval to sell new formats of its product.
Why it matters
Cellular agriculture growth serum, most often known as fetal bovine serum (FBS) in the beef replacement industry, costs up to 99% of current cultivated meat production, according to research from last July. Researchers said it was “a notoriously expensive, unsustainable, and inconsistent component, which is inherently antithetical to the aims of cultured meat.”
The news also shines a light on the rarity of regulatory approval in cultivated meat, which has presented a challenge for some companies. In the UK for instance, participants say the approval process for cultured meat is slow and a case where regulation is not catching up with innovation.
In the US, Upside Foods recently became the first company to get FDA approval for cultivated meat.
It’s not just Singapore that’s pushing the industry forward in Asia. Last year, in a significant step for a country with such a large economy and consumer base, China prioritized alternative protein research and development in its 14th five-year economic plan. Asia-Pacific cellular agriculture companies also appear to be working together, signing an agreement to use the word “cultivated” late last year.