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  • Writer's picturePhoebe Fraser

Quest Meat partners with UK university on cell-based meat scale-up project

The UK’s Quest Meat and the University of Birmingham (UoB), have joined forces on a new research and development partnership.


The collaboration is set to accelerate the development of Quest Meat’s highly regenerative cell culture ingredient platform, with the aim of revolutionising cell-based meat production.


Through the project, backed by a £520,000 investment, Quest Meat and UoB hope to propel the growth of cell-based meat production on an industrial scale.


Co-funded by Innovate UK’s ‘Novel Low Emission Food Production Systems’ competition, the initiative seeks to develop Quest Meat’s scalable, food-grade ingredients technology.


The project will bring UoB’s expertise in formulation engineering for food stability and storage to the cell-based meat sector for the first time. The partners will work together to advance Quest Meat’s product lines Neutrix and Neusol, based on its proprietary ingredient platform. These ingredients promote meat cell growth more consistently and at lower cost than traditional cell culture ingredients, increasing process intensification and speed of production, with reduced manufacturing costs.


Within the project, stability and storage conditions of the product lines will be tested to determine shelf life and to identify conditions permissive for ambient storage and shipping, thereby driving down cost and emissions, and increasing the feasibility of cell-based meat.

The initiative hopes to tackle the challenges faced when scaling the production of cell-based meat, including replacing bovine serum and ensuring adequate scaffolding for stem cell attachment, growth and maturation into meat tissue.


Quest Meat's cell lines
Quest Meat's cell lines

The project will address these challenges by offering two novel approaches; Neutrix, a nutrient-rich edible physical scaffolding for cell culture, and Neusol, a low-cost soluble media supplement that overcomes the cost, bioavailability and efficiency challenges of engineered proteins and growth factors.


Quest Meat’s co-founder and CEO, Ivan Wall, said: “Through our partnership with the UoB, combining our unique experience in stem cell bioprocessing alongside their advanced expertise in food manufacturing, we will pioneer novel, food-safe, cell culture ingredients platforms that not only enhance process efficiency but also mitigate some of the major critical scale-up challenges facing the cultivated meat industry".


"This will ultimately be a solution to the inefficiencies and destructive environmental impact of industry scale meat production.“

Associate Professor, Thomas Mills, at the UoB, commented: “Our partnership with Quest Meat aligns with our commitment to food manufacturing research and sustainable development that has a tangible impact on society. By developing a cost-effective cell culture ingredients platform, we aim to catalyse the adoption of cultivated meat as a sustainable and ethical alternative in the global food landscape.”


The £520,000 investment, supported by Innovate UK, is poised to fast-track the availability of Quest Meat’s ingredient platforms, propelling industrial-scale cell-based meat production and contributing to a more sustainable future.


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