Skip to comments.Hampton Creek announces plan to offer lab-grown meat by 2018, 3D printing under consideration
Posted on 07/07/2017 10:04:53 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
Hampton Creek, a plant-based food startup headquartered in San Francisco, recently announced that it will be moving into the lab-grown meat industry, and plans to have its clean meat products on shelves as soon as 2018. According to Spanish tech site ABC.es, Hampton Creek is considering using 3D printing to realize this goal.
Since its founding in 2011 by Josh Balk and Joshua Tetrick (the companys current CEO), Hampton Creek has gained a lot of attention for its plant-based food productsboth good and bad.
On the good side, the company has been recognized as a unicorn startup and has done impressively well financially with its animal-product-free foods, perhaps most notably its vegan mayo, Just Mayo. On the bad side, Hampton Creek has incited some controversy for accusations of misleading or stretched truths on product labelings, and having products pulled from shelves at Targetan ongoing issue.
Still, the ambitious company is expanding its products and hoping to impact the global food market in a significant way by reducing our reliance on animal-based products. After all, with an ever growing global population and dwindling resources, having more sustainable foods is becoming increasingly crucial.
Most recently, the company announced it would be developing lab-grown meats, entering into competition with a select few companies who are also hoping to offer clean meat first. (One of the main players in the clean meat industry is Memphis Meats, which says it plans to bring its products to market by 2021.)
Hampton Creek, if you remember, said it can get its products out by 2018way before any of its competitors. But if youre skeptical, youre not alone.
The San Francisco-based company does have some believers: Bruce Friedlich, from the Good Food Institute (GFI), a food technology nonprofit that has collaborated with Hampton creek, believes the company is prepared to deliver on its promises.
It's an ambitious goal for sure, but yes, with the right resources, it should be achievable," he said. Hampton Creek has gone beyond expectation with everything it has set out to doit went from founding to unicorn status in about five years. Joshua Tetrick appears to be committed to moving fast and breaking things.
How will the company be producing its lab-grown meat? Tetrick explained the process broadly in a recent post on LinkedIn, saying that his company is exploring how to scale up clean meat by using plant-based nutrients to help animal cells grow in a clean facility.
Meat and seafood are primarily a combination of muscle and fat cells, he explained. They require nutrients to grow, whether inside an animal or in a clean facility. And the main limiting factor in scaling clean meat has been providing cells with a sustainable and economical source of nutrients required for cell growth.
To overcome this challenge, he says Hampton Creek has applied the same methodology of discovery it has used for its existing plant-based products, which involves material isolation, assays, and discovery output. With plants providing nutrients for animal cells to grow, we believe we can produce meat and seafood that is over 10x more efficient than the worlds highest volume slaughterhouse (a 1,000,000-square foot facility in Tar Heel, N.C.), he added.
ABC Tecnología reported that once the meat is grown, a 3D bioprinting process can be used to print the cells in a particular shape or structure. Tetrick also mentioned that the company was investigating biocompatible scaffolds.
While we do believe that lab-grown meat will be a viable alternative to animal-based products in the future, we are curious to see whether Hampton Creek can deliver on its 2018 goal.
All I want is my meat grown in a feedlot. Is that to much to ask for?
Print me a monogrammed filet, I might consider it.
Hey, honey - print me a sammich...
Let me know when they can print tea, Earl Grey, hot.
If they can print a 200 lb buck I could take it in the woods and pretend I shot it myself.
Does it taste like chicken?
No thanks. The very idea is disgusting. Sometimes, corporate America really does a lot of things well...except food.
The global warming eco-nuts hate how much water and energy go into raising livestock for food. That’s what this is all about, I’m sure.
Franken meat yuck
I’m sure it will be at least as good as the tri-tip I roasted tonight...
Or not even close.
Well for someone that remembers how meat used to taste, who cares?
I’ll try it.
All I want is grassfed beef. And that’s often too much to pay for, but really delish. So I just eat less. As for phony printed food...never!
Spot on! I believe it’s also the underlying reason the FEDs/BLM have been so hell bent on screwing up longstanding grazers in the west, and the reason behind the whole “meat and fats are bad for you” line of bulls***...
They want to be "natural". So instead of eating their veggies like good granola crunchers, they have to have their veggies transformed into some kind of ersatz Frankenfood: tofu turkey, bean "burgers", fake cheese, fake eggs, fake mayonnaise.
If you ever come across any of this food, look at the ingredients on the label. It will disgust you. Why not eat food in its natural form as God made it? How come these poor babies can't eat their veggies the way God made them, but instead require that they be extensively processed in a food factory to turn them into some ersatz second rate substitute for real food?
I can see it in the future, no more refrigerators, freezers and horrible BBQ’s ribs (without bones of course)
Let me just say I have my doubts.
Cells in culture require fetal calf serum, FCS. (Sometimes it is called fetal bovine serum, or FBS.) FCS is collected from unborn calves when pregnant cows are slaughtered. Only about a liter of FCS is collected from a calf (depending on the gestational age). Cell culture medium usually contains 10% FCS. No doubt some kind of fermentation system would be used to grow the cells, which would increase the yield, but a lot of FCS would still be necessary... at a very rough guess, I think at least one calf worth of serum per burger or steak.
The company claims to be able to use plant based media to grow the cells, but I have my doubts. There are few animal-free cell culture products for sale, and only a few cell lines/cell types have been adapted for growth in the animal-free media. So, most likely, any lab grown cells are grown using FCS. So cows and unborn calves will continue to be slaughtered (or maybe this vegan company plans to establish a cow abortuary). The more that cells are adapted for growth in culture, especially in animal-free media, the less those cells resemble the animal from which they originated.
There is the issue of where the cells themselves will originate. Will they be primary cells, which still have the characteristics of the cells within the animals? If so, then those cells will have to be collected so that they can be grown. How will they be collected? From live cows (maybe the same ones being used in their cow abortuary)? From slaughtered cows? Either way, they will have to be collected often, since true primary cells tend not to grow for more than a few weeks once removed from the animal. Or if they use immortalized cells, that is another issue. The process of making cells immortal changes them significantly; in some ways, these changes are similar to changes cells undergo as they become cancerous. In fact, many cell lines are established from cancer cells. Furthermore, immortalized cell lines tend to change over time. So, after years in culture, they only have a weak resemblance to the original cells extracted from an animal. Cell culture is fine for research of specific biochemical pathways, but I would not want to eat cells grown in cell culture.
Last, I should mention that the use of FCS is not without controversy. I think that most scientists assume that the calves become unconscious once the cow is killed and they no longer receive oxygen through the placenta. In that case, they would not feel the blood collection (the blood is removed from their heart; the blood is the source of the serum). But there is research that indicates that such is not the case, and the fetal calves in fact do feel a lot of pain. I have read articles that recommend rendering the calf unconscious or euthanizing it prior to blood collection.
tl;dr version: You don’t want to eat cells grown in a lab. Just go for the genuine steak.
“Hampton Creek announces plan to offer lab-grown meat by 2018, ...”
Bankruptcy before 2025. Even if they are able to produce an edible “steak” they are going to face the problem of scale. People who are used to working in a lab are quite shocked to discover how big commercial processes are and need to be. You think its hard to maintain sterility in a few tissue culture bottle of cells, imagine something a million times the size.
Cost is another issue when you are competing against someone who simply has to grow a cow, kill it, and cut it up. Its infinitely more complex and difficult when you have to grow the equivalent mass of cells, and build a steak from it. Complex and difficult = costly.
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