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Mosa Meat shares latest insight on cultivating fat without fetal bovine serum

January 17, 2023

Fat is an essential component of the taste, aroma and mouth-feel of meat, which is why Mosa Meat has been focused on adding cultivated fat to its burgers since 2018. The company observed that adding even a small amount of cultivated fat can make a big difference to consumers’ sensory experience. On its mission to reshape the global food system, Mosa Meat remains committed to reducing its dependence on animals in the process of cultivating this key ingredient.

With this in mind, the Dutch company has shared its latest publication on cultivating fat without FBS, A simplified and defined serum-free medium for cultivating fat across species.

Fetal bovine serum (FBS) was used in Mosa Meat's field as a supplement for cell feed (also known as cell culture media) due to its richness in nutrients and growth factors. However, it is neither ethical nor sustainable to use this animal component, and the company's founders therefore committed to removing FBS from its process back in 2016. Last year, the company shared a peer-reviewed paper on muscle differentiation in serum-free media. Now, it is also sharing its complementary paper on cultivating fat without FBS.

In this open-access, peer-reviewed paper, Mosa Meat shares the recipe to cultivate fully mature beef fat without FBS in a simple, one-step protocol that it has been using since 2020. This is demonstrated for cow cells, but can also be applied to other species including sheep and pigs.

“We’re very proud to share these results from our world-class team of scientists, as it is crucial for our industry to be able to cultivate meat without animal components,” commented Maarten Bosch, CEO of Mosa Meat. “Being able to cultivate fat without FBS is key to our continued scale up towards industrial production volumes.”

In the paper, Mosa Meat cultivates fat cells in a range of different cell feed types. The results show superior fat cultivation (adipogenesis) with its in-house developed, serum-free cell feed. Both the percentage of positive cells and total lipid area is significantly higher. “Our in-house developed media is able to overcome differences in species differentiation that were always observed with traditionally-used protocol containing serum,” added Rada Mitic, first author and PhD candidate at Mosa Meat.

“It has previously been notoriously difficult to differentiate precursor cells for beef fat, and this paper finally demonstrates a robust adipogenic protocol for cow cells without any animal components,” commented Dr Laura Jackisch, corresponding author on the publication and Head of Fat Tissue Engineering at Mosa Meat.

The Mosa Approach includes full maturing (or differentiating) our cells using animal-free cell feed, and sharing this knowledge with others to advance the field. We are committed to continuing to share our progress in developing robust, scalable, animal-free systems for cultivating meat with the broader cellular agriculture community.

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

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