Cultured meat wins the market. Why and what is it made of?

Cultured meat wins the market. Why and what is it made of?

By 2030, 10% of meat in the world will be cultured. Such a forecast was made by experts based on a study of trends in the foodtech market, which is the result of the integration of digital technologies and the food industry. The analysis was conducted by the EFKO group of companies together with the Moscow Exchange and J’son & Partners Consulting, Inc.russia writes.

The study deals with both lab-grown meat and its vegetable substitutes. Scientists call them “alternative proteins” that will help prevent more than five million deaths worldwide from unhealthy diets every year.

Vegetable protein meat analog is the most widespread and recognized. It is prepared in the form of cutlets from pea protein, water and oil, but the manufacturing companies keep key production details secret. Such cutlets do not differ from ordinary meat cutlets in taste, flavor, cooking method and even appearance,.

The largest producers of vegetable protein meat analogs are the American companies Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods. They invest most of their funds in scientific research. As part of research, scientists literally disassemble vegetable products into elements, and then re-assemble them in the proportion in which they are contained in natural meat.

The European Commission has recently announced that it will invest 10 billion euros in research into cultured foods, including vegetable protein meat analogs and fish. The initiative is part of the EU Farm to Fork strategy. It is to transform European food system, making it more sustainable and healthier.

Development of the cultured meat production will also contribute to addressing the climate crisis, since the livestock industry releases 7.1 gigatons of carbon dioxide atmospheric emissions annually, a reduction of which will slow down the rate of global warming. In addition, the production of animal meat is resource-intensive. To get 1 kg of beef, a modern farm needs about 25 kg of grain and 15 thousand liters of water.

A study of the American supermarkets Kroger showed that people are more likely to buy vegetable protein meat analogs if it is sold on the same shelf with regular meat. During the experiment, sales of “alternative proteins” went up by 23% on average. Scientists do not exclude that the study results were influenced by the coronavirus, which made people in general pay more attention to their diet and health.

In his recent interview, Impossible Foods Founder Patrick Brown said his company intends to push livestock out of the market in 15 years. This will happen not because people are aware of the harm of meat to the health and the environment, but for the reason that vegetable protein meat analogs will be tastier, more nutritious and affordable, the businessman said.