In the race to produce cultured meat products the UK has been a bit of an also-ran with most of the innovation coming from the US, Europe and the far East.
One company that hopes to change all that is Ivy Farm Technologies, a spin-out from Oxford University, which has just unveiled plans to become the first commercial producer of sustainable, cultured meat in the UK.
The company says it plans to have authentic tasting lab-grown sausages in UK supermarkets by 2023. It will produce 12,000 tonnes of cultured pork a year by 2025 – equivalent to saving the lives of 170,000 pigs.
The company hopes to develop a pilot research and development facility and has launched a £16million fund-raising bid to enable it to achieve this.
Company co-founder Ross Tucker said: “If you look at the world around us, the way we currently produce and consume food is unsustainable.
“Already nearly half the worldwide harvest is required to feed livestock and that’s only going to go up. Cultured meat is the silver bullet – through cutting edge technology we can provide real, high-quality meat while saving the planet.”
“Ivy Farm will be great for the environment, great for meat lovers and great for animals as there’s no slaughter.”
The way the company creates cultured meat is very similar to other lab-processed meat seniors across the globe. In a process that has a little in common with crafty beer brewing animal DNA is placed in a bioreactor and exposed to a mix of vitamins and nutrients so they replicate.
The company will need to gain approval from the Food Standards Agency, before their products can go on sale