Producers choose ‘Cultivated meat’

The Good Food Institute has surveyed major cultured meat industry players to determine their preferences for the nomenclature of this alternative protein. The term ‘cultivated meat’ was overwhelmingly chosen by the 44 participating producers, including BioTech Foods, to define cell-cultured meat.  

Choosing an appropriate term that adequately defines the nature of a hitherto unprecedented product is one of the aspects that can determine the level of consumer acceptance.

Companies involved in alternative proteins are well aware of this and have responded actively to the consultation launched by The Good Food Institute. The aim is to define the category designation preferred by those involved in the sector and to pass these results on to the official bodies responsible for regulating new foods such as cultured meat for their arrival on the market. 

The survey carried out throughout September 2021, has resulted in a broad consensus around the term ‘cultivated meat’, something that has been valued very positively by the CEOs of the companies involved. “The result has coincided with our vote, as we believe that ‘Cultivated Meat’ is the most accurate term and best describes our cellular agriculture process,” says BioTech Foods CEO Iñigo Charola.

While opinions were much more polarised in previous studies, the results were overwhelming this time, with 75% of the 44 companies that responded to the survey opting for ‘cultivated meat’ as their preferred option. The term “cultured meat” came in second place with 20%. The term ‘cell-based was chosen by only one company.

Things have changed significantly from previous analyses. GFI’s 2020 industry report indicated that 37% of companies used ‘cultivated’, 25% of companies used ‘cultured’ and 18% used ‘cell-based. The remaining 20% used other terms to describe their meat production process.

The cultured meat producers surveyed expressed their satisfaction with the growing consensus around the term ‘cultivated meat’ and believe it would be very positive to see the whole alternative protein sector adopt it as a primary nomenclature as “user-friendly, differentiating and appealing to consumers”.

In addition “it has the advantage of being easily translated into the main European languages, which is very important in terms of conveying to consumers what the complementary meat alternative we are working on consists of” adds BioTech Foods CEO. A view shared by the Belgian association Cellular Agriculture Europe, which brings together a coalition of researchers and companies committed to building a more sustainable future: “Cultivated meat is the best-documented term for consumer acceptance, which is of vital importance in the initial phase of the emergence of a new industry.

Preferred choice also for consumers and investors

Consumer research conducted in 2019 by Mattson, the independent US food and beverage innovation firm, indicated that the preferred term for meat produced through cellular agriculture was ‘cultured meat’, ahead of ‘cultured meat’ and cell-based. Almost all participants responded positively to ‘cultivated meat’ and associated it with farming, naturalness and care. According to The Good Food Institute, leading investors in the sector also consider the term “connects with people immediately“, so cultivated meat for everyone!

 

Eco diets versus proteins

Food trends focused on sustainability, avoiding meat consumption, and the mistreatment of animals grow exponentially. Vegans, vegetarians, raw vegans, flexitarians, pescetarians, or ovo-lacto-vegetarians. But is there a perfect balance between protein and eco-conscious diets? Read on to find the answer!

Natural, organic, and vegan lifestyles are gaining momentum in our societies today, mainly due to the need for more sustainable development. Health, ecological awareness, and animal protection are the values that drive people who chose one of these diets, which exclude all foods that do not pass their ethical test.

The importance of a balanced diet is deeply rooted in our culture. Mediterranean diet is UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity since 2010. It’s the result of the joint candidacy of Spain, Greece, Italy, and Morocco. However, ‘eco’ diets go beyond the strict health benefits of the Mediterranean diet, as they seek to encompass and even prioritize the planet’s benefits. One of their main goals is raising awareness that through our food choices we can reduce our environmental impact and combat climate change.

The veggie movement, a trend in which vegetables are at the forefront, has increasingly specific diets. The range of options goes from those limited to raw foods, such as raw veganism, to others that are more flexible and allow the occasional consumption of meat, fish, or poultry. Some of the most popular are as follows:

Vegan: no animal products.

Vegetarian: mostly vegetable products and occasionally some animal products such as eggs, milk, or honey.

Flexitarian: preference for plant-based products and occasionally meat, seafood, or fish.

Raw vegan: raw foods of plant origin, excluding any products from animals or cooked at more than 46 degrees Celsius.

Pescetarian: vegetables, fruits and legumes, and occasionally fish and seafood.

Ovo-lacto-vegetarian: vegetables, fruit, and pulses, but also some animal products such as dairy products and eggs.

Behind these diets are strong convictions to preserve animal welfare and reduce the impact of our diets on the environment. And although the general opinion of experts is that we should move towards a model where plant-based proteins predominate, nutritionists themselves warn us that following one of these diets, without some control by a specialist, can lead to a deficit of vitamins and other compounds essential for the proper functioning of our body.

Proteins in cultured meat

Precisely to alleviate this protein deficit, the main handicap of these dietary trends that in some cases can lead to anemia or other similar pathologies depending on the metabolism of each person, Ethicameat has been working on cultured meat since 2017. A disruptive and innovative project that, on the one hand, aims to cover the demand for proteins of high biological value and amino acids that we have and, on the other, to do so without the need to slaughter animals and reducing pollution and the waste of natural resources (soil and water) associated with industrial livestock farming.

Sustainable cultured meat, without animal slaughter, with high protein content and without antibiotics, that not only meets our nutritional needs but also fits in with diets that respect our ethical and ecological preferences. It is a unique food product that will undoubtedly revolutionize the way we eat meat and the traditional nutritional pyramid. The perfect balance between protein and eco-conscious diets is possible, and cellular agriculture, supported by biotechnology, has a lot to say about the future of food.