Alternative meat products, such as plant-based meat or farmed meat, can have a dramatic environmental effect. Between 61–68 percent of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions can be avoided in hopeful scenarios where we migrate from meat-laden to plant-based diets during the next 15 years. Aside from the reality that substitute meat has a significant scale issue. To fulfill global demand, the Good Food Institute (GFI) forecasts that alternative meat producers would need to build 800 production facilities and spend $27 billion over the next decade.
To accomplish so, enterprises that produce cultured and plant-based meat must address scientific issues ranging from bioreactor capacity and efficiency to the high cost of growth agents used in cell-cultured meat. Some entrepreneurs see these scalability issues as an opportunity to get into the alternative meat market. These are B2B alternative protein firms establishing scalable industrial production platforms, rather than introducing brands. This concept is being used by two firms in this year’s Y Combinator batch.
Mooji Meats: Whole slices 3D printed quickly, Mooji Meats was founded only six months ago and is now raising $2.5 million in a startup round. The firm has created a 3D printer that can manufacture complete pieces of meat using plant protein or cultivated meat cells. According to co-founder Insa Mohr, they’re working on a 3D-printed Wagyu beef cut and expect a prototype to be ready for taste testing in six months.
Mohr told TechCrunch, “There’s always this trade-off between scale and texture.” “Without being scalable, 3D printing always provides fantastic textures.” Other approaches, on the other hand, are scalable but do not produce nice textures, especially not when it comes to steaks. And we succeed in overcoming this trade-off.”
Mohr says that Mooji can print these pieces of beef by stacking fat, connective tissue, and muscle cells in a marbling pattern, but she doesn’t elaborate. She claims that Mooji’s main advantage is her speed. One printing head, according to Mohr, is “250 times quicker” than conventional 3D printers. It is not a crime to be discreet at this time. However, evidence of the increased operating speed must be obvious shortly. According to Mohr, the $2.5 million that Mooji is now soliciting should be enough to bring the company to its first customer and, hopefully, proof of concept in the real world.
Scaffolds for cultured meat enterprises, Micro Meat, if you think plant-based meats would have a hard time satisfying demand, wait until you hear about the cost concerns grown meats face. At the very least, several firms claim to have broken the cost barrier. Future Meat, an Israeli cultured meat startup, claimed to be capable of churning out a pound of chicken for $7.70, less than half of the $18 it cost six months earlier, after raising a $347 million Series B financing headed by ADM Ventures (an enormous rise from its $14 million Series A). However, this is still more expensive than the $3 per pound price of ordinary chicken.
Most new cultured meat firms are still struggling to get their businesses up and operating at scale, according to Anne-Sophie Mertgen, the founder of startup Micro Meat. She told TechCrunch that “no other business exists where the large companies are totally vertical.” “As a result, we are confident that we can grow this sector at the scale required to feed the globe. More B2B players are needed.”