Tobacco Plants to Scale up Cultivated Meat Production
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Despite the fact that cultivated meat is mass-produced in bioreactors, the growth factors being used in medium to proliferate animal cells are animal-derived and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars per gram.
- An Israel-based startup, “BioBetter”, has demonstrated that tobacco plants act as naturally efficient bioreactors. The startup plans to use tobacco plants as growth factors (GFs) to reduce the cost of cultivated meat and create an animal-free medium.
- BioBetter’s tobacco plant GFs can cost as little as $1 per gram, compared to the $50,000 to $500,000 per gram that animal-based growth factors currently cost.
How does the Tobacco Plant promote the growth of Cultivated Meat?
- Cultivated meat production depends upon culture mediums containing essential amino acids, growth factors, and nutrients.
- The startup claims to utilize the tobacco plant as a bioreactor to deliver refined products in large volumes using Recombinant DNA technology, unique protein extraction, and purification techniques.
- By 2023, BioBetter plans to scale production at its current facility in Israel and commercialize its animal-free GFs by 2024.
Key Benefits of Introducing Plant-Based Growth Factors: –
The increasing demand for plant-based alternatives is leveraged to offer more competitively priced GFs, especially insulin, transferrin, and FGF2 from animal origin.
Besides cost variations, the additional advantages of using plant-based GFs in the cultivated meat industry are:
- Animal-free Medium
- Source of Income for local farmers
- Scale up production
- Foetal bovine serum (FBS)-free
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