Cell-Cultivated Meat and advantages

Recently, two California­ based companies were cleared to make and sell cell­ cultivated chicken. As a concept, it is being hailed by stakeholders as a major step towards reducing carbon emissions associated with the food industry worldwide. What is cell-Cultivated chicken?
  • Cell-Cultivated meat is also called as ‘Cultured meat’.
  • Process of Isolation- It involves isolation of the cells that make up the meat (the meat that we consume), and putting them in a setting where they have all the resources they need to grow.
  • Processed with additives- Once there are enough cultivated cells, they are collected and processed with additives to improve texture.
India’s Meat Market:
  • According to a research, meat production in India is estimated at 6.3 million tons annually and is ranked 5th in the world in terms of production volume. India is responsible for 3% of the total meat production in the world. The nation has the world’s largest population of livestock at about 515 million.
  • The meat industry handles the slaughtering, processing, packaging, and distribution of animals such as poultry, cattle, pigs, sheep and other livestock.
  • While India has an abundant supply of meat, the meat processing industry is still emerging.
  • Meat processing covers a spectrum of products from sub-sectors comprising animal husbandry and poultry farms, to bulk frozen meat, chilled and deli meat, packaged meat, and ready-to-eat processed meat products.
  • In the present scenario, there is a large scope for meat processing in poultry as well as in red meat.
  • In fact, the poultry industry has made considerable progress by developing and marketing value-added products.
 Need for Lab-grown meat in India:
  • Higher consumption: According to data from the National Family Health Survey 5 by India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, close to 77 percent of India’s population eats fish, chicken and other types of meat.
    • The survey also discovered that 83 percent of men and 71 percent of women are non-vegetarians.
  • Environmental hazards: According to a joint report by the Vasudha and Shakti foundations, Indian livestock is responsible for the annual emission of over 200 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.
  • Less resource consumption: Lab-grown meat enterprises use up to 95 percent less land and 78 percent less water when renewable energy is used in production than conventional meat.
  • For making Nutrition food affordable: As per the World Bank, in 2019, 10.2 percent of Indians were projected to have been living below the international poverty level.
    • Hence, it is believed that the cost of cultivated meat will most likely decline when production scales up.
Challenges to be addressed:
  • Consumer acceptance-Perfectly substituting animal meat with alternative meat requires it to match the original in taste, texture and appearance.
  • Cost Analysis– The cost of cell­ cultivated meat is expected to remain high in the near future.
  • Availability of conducive environment for cultivation- For cultivation, researchers require high quality cells, a suitable growth­ medium in which the cells can be cultured, plus other resources required to maintain the quality of the final product.
Government Interventions:
  • GFI India’s National Mission for Smart Protein, the group has partnered with the Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT) Mumbai to establish the world’s first government research Centre for the development of cultivated meat.
  • GFI India has also partnered with ICAR-Central Institute of Fisheries Education (Mumbai) with the aim of establishing India’s ‘first Smart Protein Innovation Hub on Cultivated Seafood’.

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