Bioreactors Cultivating the Future of Food
An intro to bioreactors in foodtech: functionality, downfalls, and developing solutions.
Current food production is not efficient. Animal agriculture accounts for 14.5% of global greenhouse emissions, which is an outrageous amount. Even further, 77% of habitable land is used just to raise and feed livestock.
Many of our global resources are invested into food production with low returns on productivity, but it doesn’t have to be this way.
The future of food is approaching…
New technologies in the food-tech space are constantly being developed, including cellular agriculture. Cellular agriculture is the production of animal-based products in a lab. This is done with the proliferation and growth of animal cells that are retrieved from biopsies or existing cell lines and differentiated into the desired type of cells. These cells eventually come together to form meat.
Lab-grown meat has been in the works for a while, with the first cell-based burger made by Mark Post in 2013.
However, this burger was not the most sustainable solution. It cost over $250,000 for that singular patty, but a lot of progress has been made since then. Cellular agriculture has the potential to disrupt a $1 trillion global market and many companies like Eat Just and Memphis Meats are getting involved in the industry.
…but it has its issues.
Just one bite of Mark Post’s burger included billions of cells, and that was just one bite!
Current cellular agriculture processes can culture roughly trillions of cells (10¹² — 10¹³) at once. This sounds like a lot, but in reality, trillions of cells only amount to roughly 100 to 1000 kg of meat.
This is because bioreactors, the devices used to provide the ideal conditions for cell…