Meatable Moves Closer to Becoming the World’s First Cultivated Pork Producer to Earn Regulatory Approval

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Dutch cultivated meat producer Meatable says it’s poised to bring cultivated pork to Singapore through an exclusive partnership with the only approved contract cultivated meat manufacturer, ESCO Aster.

Cultivated pork could be the next lab-grown meat to hit Singapore, which is currently the only country in the world that’s approved cultivated meat. It greenlit Eat Just’s Good Meat chicken in 2020—made in partnership with ESCO Aster, the only cultivated meat manufacturer approved to produce in Singapore. Now, Dutch cultivated meat company Meatable says it’s expanding its reach to the city-state in hopes of bringing cultivated pork dumplings, sausages, and other products to Southeast Asia with help from ESCO Aster.

Cultivated meat is the future

“At Meatable we strongly believe that cultivated meat is the future of food, in order to produce meat sustainably and as local as possible,” Krijn de Nood, co-founder and CEO of Meatable, said in a statement. “To do that it’s imperative that we provide a wide variety of products to cater for all cuisines, worldwide.”

De Nood says that given Singapore’s status as “a pioneer of cultivated meat,” it’s focus is aimed at bringing its pork products to market by 2024. It says it expects to have supermarket-ready products by 2025.

“Our team has been working closely with the country’s butchers and chefs to develop the perfect cultivated pork dumplings and it was incredible to recently taste the dumplings and know that we have created something indistinguishable from traditional meat – because it is real meat,” de Nood said. “Along with our sausages, we have made great strides in recent months to create products that will satisfy the world’s appetites without harming the planet or animals in the process.”

Krijn de Nood en Daan Luining, Meatable founders with pigs
Krijn de Nood and Daan Luining, Meatable founders with pigs | Courtesy

Pork is a protein staple across Asia. According to Meatable, in 2020 alone, more than 123,000 metric tons of pork were consumed in Singapore; each Singaporean consumes an annual average of about 62 kilograms (136 pounds) of meat. The global demand for dumplings is also expected to rise to more than $4 billion by 2025. Meatable says it’s already working closely with Singaporean chefs to customize its pork products to Asian palates.

“Meatable has emerged as one of the world’s leading companies in developing cultivated meat,” Xiangliang Lin, CEO at ESCO Aster, said. “We’re delighted to be partnering with them to facilitate their launch in Singapore and to enable the business to start producing cultivated pork for customers. With our scientific expertise, operational know-how and enabling technologies, we believe that we can help companies reach their milestones and advance to the next step of cultivated meat production with market approval at scale. We’re excited about the potential for cultivated meat to transform how we feed the world and we’re looking to expand our facilities within and outside of Singapore to enable more companies like Meatable across this space.” 

“We’re excited to work closely with ESCO Aster and the Singaporean regulators as we gear up to launch our first products for restaurant launch in 2024,” said Hans Huistra, COO of Meatable. “Over the past four years, we’ve been constantly innovating and developing our technology to get it to the stage where we can perfectly recreate some of the meat products we all know and love. ESCO Aster will enable us in developing, upscaling and realizing our first consumer products, together we will make a positive impact on the Singaporean meat industry.”

Single-cell tech

Meatable says its proprietary opti-ox technology will revolutionize the cultivated meat industry. It says it’s working with a single-cell sample technology that is the fastest in the field. Earlier this month Umami Meats said it had patented a single-cell technology for its cultivated seafood.

Meatable has also achieved its cultivated pork mince without the need for fetal bovine serum, a controversial media being phased out of the industry.

lab worker
Photo by Julia Koblitz via Unsplash

A growing number of cultivated meat facilities have popped up across the planet in the last 18 months—and most promise production capacity capable of delivering tens of thousands of pounds of cultivated meat per year. But thus far, only ESCO Aster’s facility has obtained regulatory approval to produce cultivated meat in Singapore, which is also the only government in the world to approve cultivated meat for sale and consumption. While that’s expected to change soon, there are no confirmed timelines for other countries to approve cultivated meat nor are there any approval timelines for factory approvals.

Singapore has been leading the race to a more sustainable food system with its 30 by 30 strategy—producing 30 percent of its food needs by 2030. Singapore currently imports 90 percent of its food.

Lead image courtesy of Meatable.


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