Stray Dog Capital portfolio company Mosa Meat has opened a 30,000 sq ft facility in Maastricht to scale-up production of its cultivated beef products as it nears commercialization. The scale-up plant is part of a larger, 79,000 sq ft, facility at Mosa’a new C.A.M.P.U.S (Center for Advanced Meat Production, Upscaling, and Sustainability) – the world’s largest cultivated meat factory.
Initially, the plant will have the capacity to make tens of thousands of cultivated burgers a year, though as Mosa’s products enter the market and demand grows, the company is positioned to increase production through this facility.
“The facility is designed to grow up to hundreds of thousands of cultivated hamburgers per year as demand increases with regulatory approvals and regional market entries. And in combination with our contract manufacturer in Singapore, even a lot more,” said CEO Maarten Bosch.
Mosa is currently in conversation with regulators in multiple countries and actively working to submit a dossier under the Novel Food Regulation. The startup will likely launch products in Singapore first due to strong local partnerships and the nation’s legacy of embracing cultivated products. The company is also positioned well to launch in Europe in the near future.
“In Europe, we are positioned to be the first [cultivated meat company to enter the market] as we have a non-GMO approach, which is a big plus from a regulatory perspective,” said Bosch.
Utilizing a proprietary two-stage development process, Mosa’s products are made from differentiated cells and then finished without the use of scaffolds.
In the initial stage of development, bovine muscle and fat precursor cells are proliferated and then triggered to differentiate into recognizable muscle and fat tissue to provide the nutrition, flavor and texture consumers expect. The process is completed without the use of fetal bovine serum (FBS), a controversial ingredient in the cultivated meat industry.
“We believe that using only undifferentiated cells won’t provide enough value to consumers in terms of the taste experience and aromas of mature fat tissue since the total lipid content and composition will be very different from that of conventional beef fat. To our knowledge we are the only cultivated meat company that achieved true adipogenesis during differentiation instead of ‘feeding’ cells lipids to improve their composition,” said Bosch.
In the second production phase, an alginate-based gel system is used that helps cells self-organize, eliminating the need for scaffolds. To date, Mosa Meat has raised close to $100 million from firms including Stray Dog Capital, Blue Horizon, Bell Food Group, and Nutreco. The company will initially be launching a minced beef product and will later introduce steak to its offerings.