The Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation’s Swine and Poultry Unit (Embrapa) has announced a study to develop cultivated chicken. The project was made possible in part by a grant from The Good Food Institute (GFI) and is expected to produce cultivated chicken breast fillets for analysis by the end of 2023. Researchers on the project have the advantage of access to Embrapa’s poultry gene bank which was a result of the organization’s first Cultivated Meat Day, an event held in August 2022 that brought together interested parties for broader discussions and partnerships to support the future of cultivated meat.
“The creation of an institutional biobank at Embrapa with cell lines that are characterized and dedicated to cultured meat products could be licensed, which will significantly reduce the barrier of entry for researchers, startups, and industries interested in cultured meat." - Ana Paula Bastos, project researcher.
Brazil is one of the world’s largest meat producers and is expected to consume 20.62 million metric tons of meat in 2023. Last year JBS, the world’s largest producer of beef and poultry, announced plans to build the country’s first Food and Protein Biotechnology R&D center, and Brazil’s Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock is currently developing the National Plan for Alternative Proteins (PNPA) that will include cultivated meat. The United States and China have also placed an emphasis on the importance of cultivated meat research and development.
“The effects of conventional animal production on the environment, which include land and water use, interference with biodiversity, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, is a recurring discussion not only in science but also in several sectors. Thus cultured meat is set to become an ally to face such challenges…Raising awareness of the benefits of this innovation is paramount to have future consumers adopt cultured meat as another food option in their diets." - Vivian Feddern, lead researcher.
Image Credit: Lucas Scherer / Embrapa