Mewery introduces “world’s first” cell-based pork burger
Czech food tech startup Mewery has introduced what it says is the “first-ever” burger made with cell-based pork.
The company plans to enter the US market with its burger that combines porcine (pork) cells with microalgae cells.
Mewery uses its own cultivation medium based on microalgae in place of foetal bovine serum (FBS) – a component of animal origin and commonly used in cell-based meat production.
Mewery says that the “co-cultivation with microalgae adds previously impossible nutritional value to the final meat”.
The burger prototype was introduced during the Rock for People festival, a cultural event in the Czech Republic with 40,000 people in attendance. Though a public tasting is not possible in the EU yet, around 90% of the event´s attendees stated they would be interested in tasting the burger.
Mewery’s founder Roman Lauš said: “We have managed to get the price of the culture medium down to a few dollars per litre, which allows us to gradually increase the testing of our co-culture in larger volumes and to expand our parallel sensory laboratory for the final texture and taste of our products”.
He continued: “We are working with the Czech government on the so-called “non-employee” tastings, which could be possible as early as next year. This could make the Czech Republic the second country in the EU after the Netherlands to accelerate the introduction of alternative proteins. However, it is still a matter of a few years before legislation is in place at the EU level to allow the sale of cultivated meat to end consumers, so we want to focus on the US and Asian markets first.”
“Globally, it is the second most demanded type of meat in the world. In Europe and Asia, it is the number one meat. Currently, 48 pigs are killed every second around the world, amounting to 1.5 billion animals a year. They produce 14.5% of all emissions, which is more than all the transport in the world. Our goal is to try to reduce these numbers dramatically.”
Singapore and the US are currently the only two countries in the world where cell-based meat is approved for sale. Mewery notes that US companies Upside Foods and Good Meat are focusing on chicken production and that it, therefore, plans to enter the US market with its novel cell-based pork products within the next two years.