CELLZERO Meat is a multidisciplinary research organization that was founded by the Research Institute for Farm Animal Biology (FBN) in Germany along with other partners.
The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has provided CELLZERO Meat with €1.19 million in funding with which to address problems and provide long-term process improvements for the laboratory meat business.
The Anhalt University of Applied Sciences in Bernburg (Saxony-Anhalt), the Leibniz Institute for Plasma Research and Technology Greifswald (MV), and PAN-Biotech GmbH in Aidenbach are all part of the research network.
“There are several unresolved scientific hurdles that have so far delayed the production of cell-based meat alternatives and thus the emergence of a market. We want to contribute to overcoming these,” FBN scientist and CELLZERO Meat’s project leader, Monika Röntgen, explains.
According to Röntgen, the organization will concentrate on identifying and implementing solutions for the following three issues that are prevalent in the production of cultivated meat:
Fetal bovine serum use (FBS)
Applying antibiotics to growth mediums
The application of genetic engineering techniques
The Institute is based in Dummerstorf and studies farm animals “for the benefit of animals, humans, and the environment.” Under Röntgen’s direction, FBN has been studying grown meat since 2018.
“Our long-standing research on muscle development in pigs and the functionality of muscle stem cells was the basis of the project idea for CELLZERO Meat, which was successfully tested and further developed in an exploratory phase already funded by the BMBF,” says the scientist.
Basic scientific questions must be resolved
The cell biology components of the procedure, which do not involve the use of genetic engineering, will be handled by the FBN team. It covers all the phases from getting the raw material to the finished cell-based product sausage or formed meat.
To ascertain the technology and materials necessary to make enticing and healthy farmed meat, Anhalt University of Applied Sciences will carry out parallel research and investigations. The Bavarian business PAN-Biotech will create fetal bovine serum substitutes and fresh nutritional solutions for cell culturing.
At INP in Greifswald, a brand-new, residue-free, plasma-based decontamination procedure is being developed to prevent the use of antibiotics during the entire procedure.
“Essential scientific questions need to be answered before products from cell-based agriculture can be marketed in Germany and the EU as an ethical, healthy, and climate-friendly alternative to conventional meat,” Röntgen states.