Nestlé is joining the global meat protein research efforts as the general food industry demands a more sustainable production method. Scientists at Nestlé Research in Lausanne are exploring the market for cultured meat products that do not compromise on their taste or sustainable credentials. The project takes place alongside a leading cultured-meat start-up, Future Meat Technologies, which provides its bespoke technology that is capable of producing non-genetically modified cultured-meat components from animal cells.
Why Produce Cultured-Meat?
As a result of this argument, the plant-based food industry is thriving. According to research by Statista, in 2020, the global plant-based food market was valued at US$12.85bn and is set to increase three-fold by 2027 - with a predicted value of US$35.5bn.
There is a lot of speculation about sustainability within the meat production industry. While some would argue for it, others against it; either way, the meat industry does not have to be the culprit. The main driver of this shift in consumer purchasing behaviour is the environmental implications of farming livestock. But with Nestlé’s research efforts - along with many other organisations - the sustainability implications of meat can be significantly reduced.
"For many years, we have been investing in our protein expertise and the development of proprietary technologies for plant-based meat alternatives, allowing us to continuously expand our wide range of tasty and nutritious products with a lower environmental impact,” says Reinhard Behringer, Head of the Nestlé Institute of Material Sciences at Nestlé Research. “To complement these efforts, we’re also exploring technologies that could lead to animal-friendly alternatives that are nutritious, sustainable, and close to meat in terms of taste, flavour, and texture. We are excited to understand their potential."
By researching animal cells, the company can provide novel and innovative methods of producing meat products, which create a minimal impact on the environment with the potential to address animal welfare concerns, as well as the health and wellness aspect of producing meat. Nestlé will provide further development opportunities throughout its cell-based meat research to transform its product portfolio to benefit people and the planet.