Steakholder Foods begins bovine cell line development in US, working toward regulatory approval
29 Sep 2022 --- The Israeli business has started to isolate cells sourced from cattle raised in US department of agriculture (USDA) approved farms. The company expects the USDA to play a pivotal role in approving cultured meat in the future.
“The cultured meat industry as a whole awaits positive feedback from American regulators with respect to initial approval to sell cultivated meat products. As a first step, we plan to set up a pilot plant in Belgium, after which we expect the first hybrid products to enter the market” Arik Kaufman, CEO Steakholder Foods, tells FoodIngredientsFirst.
“In accordance with the regulatory guidelines published by the USDA and FSIS, Steakholder Foods is ensuring that the tissue samples that it collects are properly vetted and sourced from healthy animals, all as part of the company’s aim of meeting the strict regulatory standards for approval in the US,” explains the business.
The cells are extracted in a sterile environment required for food safety, Stakeholder Foods notes.
“We’re developing these products with a mix of cultivated animal fat and plant-based protein, for a meatier experience than anything available today,” highlights Kaufman.
US cultured meat
The Rehovot, Israel, head-quartered company produces a variety of beef, chicken, pork and even seafood products – through a collaboration with Umami Meats – planning to commercialize its products in Israel, Singapore and now the US.
“Although Israel is a center for biotech innovation with many food-tech and cultured meat companies, our regulatory focus is on larger markets, such as the USA, the EU and South-East Asia,” explains Kaufman.
“Our latest cell development activity is moving the company forward on its path toward regulation. By working with USDA-approved farms and animals, Steakholder Foods is demonstrating its commitment to quality and safety. We aim to work with federal agencies as we perfect our processes for sustainable and scalable cultured meat production.”
Wagyu beef inspiration
The Israeli company announced a highly marbled 100% 3-D printed cultured beef cut, “Omakase beef morsels,” earlier this month. The 104 g printed cultured steak is the largest ever of the company.
The product comprises multiple layers of muscle and fat tissue, which have been differentiated from bovine stem cells. Each layer is printed separately using two different bio-inks – one for muscle and one for fat. The layers can be printed in various muscle and fat sequences, affecting the cut's juiciness and marbling.
Steakholder Foods’ technology can print the product with any shape, width and marbling ratio and even exceed the marbling precision reminiscent of the Wagyu beef standard. It can also provide unprecedented product consistency at scale.
Stock price nose dive
In a challenging year for some innovative companies such as Beyond Meat, Steakholder Foods had to actively address its investors after its stock plummeted 58% this 2022.
“The company is not aware of any material negative developments that have not been disclosed to the public, and our operations, including both research and development, and commercialization efforts, are proceeding in accordance with our work plan,” explains Arik Kaufman, CEO of Steakholder Foods.
Since its momentous IPO in 2021, the business shares have lost 77% of its value.
Meanwhile, the business is continuing to grow its research expenditure this year, up 28% in the first half of the year to US$2.3 million, compared to 2021.
By Marc Cervera
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