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French cultivated meat startup, Vital Meat, seeks UK approval for its Vital Chicken product

May 17, 2024

French food-tech, Vital Meat, has officially submitted its novel food dossier to the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Food Standards Scotland (FSS), the company has announced.

The novel food dossier submission marks the start of an 18- to 24-month process where Vital Meat’s dossier will be assessed by experienced scientists and food safety experts from the FSA and FSS. With its non-GMO, antibiotic free and animal component-free process, Vital Meat is confident that this assessment will lead to an approval. This approval will then allow Vital Meat to commercialize its Vital Chicken in England, Wales and Scotland.

Last year, Vital Meat submitted a first novel food dossier at the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) with the expectation to get an approval before end of year.

“We are going through the questions and answers process with scientific experts from SFA and so far the discussion is very smooth and is going well,” suggested Dr Claude Rescan, Vital Meat’s regulatory expert.

The company is therefore in the running to be the first European cultivated meat company approved in Singapore. "We are very confident and are already collaborating with a Singaporean chef as well as food companies to prepare for the market launch as soon as the approval is granted," added Etienne Duthoit, CEO of Vital Meat.

“The decision to expand into the UK swiftly follows our Singaporean endeavor," commented Olivia de Talancé, COO of Vital Meat. "Asia and particularly, Singapore is an important market for us with consumers that are open to new foods and a business ecosystem open to innovation.”

Vital Meat wanted to open an additional geography for its commercialization and the UK was the number onechoice. British consumers' pragmatism and environmental consciousness align well with the sustainability benefits of cultivated meat. Their receptiveness to innovation and health awareness further create a favorable environment. Furthermore, the UK Food Standard Agency (FSA) is very proactive in facilitating the process. As an example, they have launched a survey to broaden their understanding of cell-cultivated products, in doing so showing their willingness to move forward on the regulatory side.

"We can’t wait to start commercialization in Great Britain; chicken is one of the most consumed meat over there," continued Duthoit. "We are now preparing our launch in 2025 and looking for food partners.”

The product Vital Meat’s novel food, called the Vital Chicken, will be sold as an ingredient to food companies who will add it to their plant based recipes to give a true taste of chicken, improve the nutritional profile and reduce the ingredients list.

"Health is of paramount importance to us. We are committed to not using antibiotics, or any other controversial ingredient, such as fetal bovine serum or any other animal product," explained de Talancé. "That’s why we are confident that our commitment to safety and sustainability will be rewarded."

In addition to sustainability and its positive impact on both people and the planet, the journey from lab to plate must also ensure economic viability and social acceptance of the product.

To achieve this, transitioning to the industrial stage is crucial. This step allows Vital Meat to make its product accessible to a wider audience, especially at a time when some question the affordability of this technology.

Through their strategic partnership with Biowest, one of Europe's foremost producers of cell culture media, Vital Meat is successfully addressing these challenges. By leveraging this collaboration, they have managed to reduce production costs significantly and achieve a consistent production capacity.

If you have any questions or would like to get in touch with us, please email info@futureofproteinproduction.com

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