Mewery Unveils World’s First Cultivated Pork-Microalgae Burger
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Czech food tech startup Mewery has debuted what it says is a one-of-a-kind burger made from a blend of cultivated pork and microalgae cells.
According to Mewery, the innovation marks a new milestone in the cultivated meat sector meat as the company continues to develop more ethically sourced and environmentally friendly meat products at lower costs than other cultivated meat products.
‘Easily surpasses the taste of traditional plant-based burgers’
“Currently, 48 pigs are killed every second around the world, amounting to 1.5 billion animals a year. They produce 14.5 percent of all emissions, which is even more than all the transport in the world. Our goal is to try to reduce these numbers dramatically,” Roman Lauš, founder of Mewery, said in a statement.
“Our burger tastes delicious and easily surpasses the taste of traditional plant-based burgers,” he added.
The new burger was showcased during a cultural event in Czechia where a vast majority of attendees — more than 90 percent — indicated their willingness to taste the burger. But dye to E.U. regulations, public tastings of cultivated meat are not allowed. The E.U. has not approved any cultivated meat for sale.
Mewery could help to change that, Lauš explained. “We are working with the Czech government on the so-called ‘non-employee’ tastings, which could be possible as early as next year,” he said.
Regulatory approval focus
The company is putting the bulk of its attention to more welcoming markets for approval, namely the U.S. and Singapore markets, which are currently the only two governments that have given cultivated meat the green light. The USDA gave final approval to Good Meat and Upside Foods last week. Mewery says it expects its approval within the next two years.
Mewery launched in 2020 with support from the U.S. accelerator Big Idea Ventures. The company’s proprietary technology replaces the need for fetal bovine serum (FBS), commonly used in cell-culture growth, by using engineered microalgae growth factors to stimulate mammalian cell growth.
The startup demonstrated the effectiveness of its cutting-edge method with a pork and microalgae prototype last February. Mewery claims this process slashes costs by up to 70 percent compared to traditional FBS methods, making lab-grown meat more competitive with animal meat.