News

Photo of COP27: technologies addressing the fight against climate change – “clean meat”

COP27: technologies addressing the fight against climate change – “clean meat”

Posted:

On the penultimate day of the COP27 climate change conference in Egypt, we look at a client tackling the climate change challenge through food technology.

The production of meat for human consumption is a very significant contributor to carbon emissions – while estimates vary, most experts consider that meat and dairy production account for 15-18% of all global emissions.

While meat consumption is falling in some countries, in others it is increasing, and it does not appear that the global population will be persuaded to give up meat at any time in the near future.

This makes “clean meat” (i.e., meat grown artificially from real animal cell lines) a very promising technology for reducing emissions. Clean meat has the potential to be effectively identical to meat produced by conventional methods, but involving only a small fraction of the emissions. Clean meat also involves no ethical concerns, does not require any antibiotics, and requires vastly less land than conventional methods.

Avant Meats, founded in Hong Kong with operations expanded to Singapore, is at the forefront of this movement, using cultivation processes to create fish and other meat products.

Avant use in vitro meat production to grow muscle or organ tissue in laboratories using cell-culture techniques to produce meat. The process uses cells originally obtained from an animal biopsy, which are then cultured and expanded in vitro to produce a meat or fish product. This production process does not require raising or catching and slaughtering of animals, and provides a product which is free from pollutants, such as heavy metals and microplastics. Avant is currently using this process to grow fish fillets and fish maw (swim bladder – an Asian delicacy), with the potential for this technology to expand into producing other kinds of meat or fish.

Forresters are currently assisting Avant with 4 pending patent applications directed towards this technology in Europe.

Avant Meats are reported to be the first company in Asia to develop cell-based fish for food. They have partnered with the Bioprocessing Technology Institute within Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and have raised close to $15million so far.  This process of producing cell-based meat is an exciting area of technology, which has the potential to revolutionise the meat and fishing industry to become more ethical and sustainable.