The meat of the future will be cooked in the laboratories instead of on the farms. This is the maxim that they defend and develop in Biotech Foods, where they prepare the launch of the first products of its brand Ethica Meat (ethical meat, in English) in 2021. The basis of this project is based on the construction of muscle tissues from animal cells without intervention or genetic modification with the aim of undertaking a "food revolution". From the company of Basque origin they defend that it will suppose a solution "to the high cost in animal lives and natural resources that supposes to supply the high demand of proteins of meat".
The products that will be grouped under the brand Ethica Meat will reach the market with a high protein content, without the remains of antibiotics, they will be 100% natural and will not have fatty ingredients, according to their creators. "Ethica Meat will be the key ingredient for the production of foods such as sausages, nuggets or meatballs," explains Mercedes Vila, one of the co-founders of Biotech Foods. The project of this laboratory meat starts from samples of live animals, without the need to sacrifice them and follows processes similar to those applied in regenerative medicine. "We only reproduce the muscle tissue, the part with more proteins, and we do not use fat or animal blood," adds Vila.
Biotech Foods, which will focus on reproducing cells that come from the pig, has managed to produce this ingredient "on small scales", although the objective of commercialization is to reach the production of "tons". The sale to the market is scheduled for 2021, once agreements have been reached with different meat processors and regulatory permits are obtained that mark Europe. The company now faces a process of capitalization to increase production and estimates that it will bill around 10 million euros in the first year of commercialization. "We are immersed in a round of financing to achieve the production escalation that allows us to start commercializing this ingredient," says Vila.
The objective of the company is that the products "with the seal of ethical meat" are on the shelves of supermarkets in three years with a price similar to that of other processed meat products. "Visually it will not be different from salchicas made with animal meat. Our goal is that the product is tasty and that the gastronomic experience is an enjoyment ", clarifies Vila.
Currently, there are few companies that are dedicated to this business. There are other initiatives in the United States, which attract large amounts of investment, and in the Netherlands. Millionaires like Bill Gates, Sergey Brin or Richard Branson have opted for projects of this type, which will mean ending a "social problem" because of its harmful impact on the environment and human health. «Our meat respects the environment, human health and animal welfare. At the same time it is a viable alternative to the necessary protein consumption, "says the co-founder of Biotech Foods.