Growing animal proteins in plants
What is the Challenge?
Traditional meat production poses significant global challenges: it's environmentally damaging due to land overuse, deforestation, and high greenhouse gas emissions. Animal farming uses much of the agricultural land but yields only a minor portion of the world's food, leading to food security concerns. Growing awareness of the health and ethical problems with conventional meat production is driving a shift towards more sustainable, natural, and healthier food alternatives. What if there was a way to use plants to grow animal protein?
What is the Solution?
Kyomei, emerging from the University of Oxford, is at the forefront of addressing the critical environmental and health challenges posed by traditional meat production. Their team, consisting of plant scientists, molecular biologists, and entrepreneurs, focuses on mitigating the negative environmental impacts of animal agriculture. They are responding to the growing consumer demand for plant-based meat alternatives, which has been fueled by increased awareness of the environmental footprint of animal agriculture, concerns about natural health benefits, and skepticism over conventional meat production methods. Furthermore, Kyomei is attentive to consumer concerns about over-processed foods, emphasizing the importance of process sustainability and the need for clean labels. A key challenge identified by Kyomei is the lack of authentic 'meatiness' in existing alternatives to animal protein, which are often critiqued for not replicating the true flavor and texture of meat.
To tackle these issues, Kyomei has developed a groundbreaking protein production platform, utilizing plants as bioreactors to grow animal proteins. This innovative approach specifically targets the production of meat myoglobin within plants, aiming to close the taste and texture gap prevalent in current plant-based meat alternatives. By accurately replicating the proteins found in meat, Kyomei's technology is poised to significantly enhance the umami flavor in plant-based burgers, paving the way for the next generation of delicious plant-based proteins. This method is not only sustainable and carbon-negative but also aligns with the growing consumer preference for natural and healthier food options. By leveraging advanced plant biotechnology, Kyomei aspires to transform the landscape of alternative meat protein and ingredient production, focusing on achieving high yields at scale to contribute to a healthier, more sustainable global food system.