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  • Writer's picturePhoebe Fraser

Cell-based meat and seafood companies prepare to hold legal tastings in the Netherlands

On behalf of the Dutch Government, Cellular Agriculture Netherlands Foundation (CANS) has launched an independent expert committee to evaluate requests by companies to conduct tastings of cell-based meat and seafood.

Now, Dutch companies can hand in their dossiers to request approvals to hold tastings, paving the way to holding the first approved cell-based tastings in Europe.

Dutch cultivated pork start-up Meatable has submitted a dossier, expecting to organise its first tasting of its call-based pork product soon.

The new committee includes a toxicologist, microbiologist, physician and an ethical expert. They will evaluate requests by companies to conduct tastings of cell-based meat and seafood in controlled environments, a significant step forward to enabling tastings in Europe.

Krijn de Nood, co-founder and CEO at Meatable, said: “This is another important step forward in approving cultivated meat. The Netherlands has long been the pioneer of cultivated meat which is further cemented by this latest development, and we thank the Dutch Government, CANS and [Dutch biotech industry association] HollandBIO for their joint efforts to make this possible.”

“We’re delighted that we have already handed in our dossier for approval and look forward to holding our first tastings in the Netherlands soon. We can’t wait to invite people to try our delicious pork sausages and experience for themselves that it doesn’t just look and taste like meat, it is meat.”

Meatable's cell-based pork dumpling
Meatable's cell-based pork dumpling

The tasting approval process

Under the Code of Practice, cell-based food companies can hand in their dossiers, including information about their product and necessary safety documents, to apply for approval to hold tastings. The expert committee will investigate the documents and provide feedback.

The committee will then approve for tastings to take place or request more information.

When approvals have been granted, the respective company is required to hold a tasting session in a controlled environment, which is suitable for food preparation and inaccessible to the general public.

The news today will help cell-based food comapnies develop their products and enable education about cultivated meat. Tastings enable consumers to experience the taste and texture of the novel foods and understand that it looks like, tastes like and has the same nutritional profile as traditional meat, as well as educate people about the role cell-based meat can play in meeting sustainability goals.

Maarten Bosch, CEO of Mosa Meat, commented: “We are thrilled to see the protocol developed in consultation with the government is now being implemented. Mosa Meat will be applying soon to host the first legal tastings of our cultivated beef. The Netherlands continues to be a global leader in sustainable food innovation, even as others in Europe appear to be taking a step backwards at the height of our climate and biodiversity crises.”

Kianti Figler, CEO of Upstream Foods, added: “At Upstream Foods, we’re thrilled about the Netherlands taking the initiative in pre-approved tastings for cultivated food. This is a pivotal moment for the Dutch cultivated meat and seafood ecosystem. We are dedicated to revolutionising seafood alternatives through fish fat cultivation, and this initiative empowers us to showcase our innovative approach.”

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