Meatablea Dutch biotech company developing cultured “lab-grown” meat products has revealed images of its inaugural pork sausage for the first time.
Founded in 2018, Meatable is one of several companies developing cell-grown meat products, one of many solutions touted for combating climate change. Numerous lab-grown meat companies have joined the fray, raising venture capital to find ways to develop ‘real’ meat without harming animals or the environment. Meatable touts its big differentiator as being how it has grown its synthetic meat products from scratch — instead of fetal bovine serum (FBS), which is harvested from bovine fetuses, Meatable says it uses opti-ox technology based on on a single cell of an animal’s umbilical cord. As such, it says that “no harm is done” to the animal.
While other companies have begun to remove FBS from their meat development process, Meatable says it has adopted this ethos from the start.
Meatable raised a $10 million funding round in 2019, followed by a $47 million Series A last year. Now the Delft, Netherlands-based company is showing for the first time what its cooked sausages look like — and they look like, well, sausages.
Road to the market
It’s worth noting that this announcement just indicates that Meatable’s cultured meat sausage is moving from research to something more akin to an end product — the company had previously shown a raw, uncooked version of its synthetic sausage.
Next a vote in the House of Representatives in March allowing people to taste cultured meat in controlled environments, Meatable is now preparing to take things to the next level once it becomes law. However, the founders are allowed to taste all their own products.
“Because it’s our own product, testing is currently allowed under strict conditions for the founders and owners,” CEO Krijn de Nood told sure naira. “We can now reveal that myself and my co-founder Daan (Luining) finally got to taste our sausages and know that we are on the right track towards full launch in 2025, if not sooner.”
The fact that Meatable is looking forward to three more years to commercially launch its product is testament to the barriers that such technology faces. Indeed, Singapore is the only market in the world where it is legal to sell lab-grown meat.
“The main barriers to getting our product to market are due to regulations,” explains de Nood. “It is not possible to sell farmed meat products in most of the world. A motion was recently passed in the Netherlands to make it possible to test cultured meat under controlled conditions. Once this becomes law, which we expect later this year, we hope to offer tastings to refine and develop our products.”
And while pork sausage is Meatable’s first product, the underlying technology can also be used for beef and chicken products.
“We hope to announce details on our wider product range later this year,” added de Nood.