Campden BRI and tissue engineering and bioreactor specialist, Cellular Agriculture, have won funding for a project that aims to optimise, test and validate the scalability of hollow-fibre bioreactors to produce cell-based meat products.
The grant from Innovate UK and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is part of a £15.6 million investment in 32 projects within novel low-emission food production systems.
Building on proof-of-concept work led by Cellular Agriculture, the project aims to develop a hollow-fibre bioreactor system prototype demonstrator that will be optimised at Campden BRI's facilities.
Campden BRI will then collaborate with Cellular Agriculture to test production samples and develop food safety, quality, regulatory, economic and sustainability assessments.
Craig Leadley, technology fellow at Campden BRI, commented: “By supporting Cellular Agriculture in taking their cutting-edge cultivated meat production system from the biotechnology space into the food industry, this exciting project puts us at the forefront of innovative food research. The innovate UK-funded project will enable us to support Cellular Agriculture to further develop and test their system so that they can commercialise their technology to food manufacturers and cultivated meat companies.”
Marianne Ellis, CTO of Cellular Agriculture, added: “The cultivated meat industry is still in early stages and although processes have been tested and validated, scaling the technology at low-cost remains a challenge. However, hollow-fibre bioreactors have increased cell density and cost-efficiency, lower emissions, and more compact design compared to other state-of-the-art bioreactors, such as stirred tank or fixed-bed bioreactors.”
“These advantages give hollow-fibre bioreactor systems the potential to facilitate the commercial viability of cultivated meat production."