This scalable scaffolding is necessary for the production of manufactured cell culture meat in order to provide the structure of the meat. Without it, the meat would only be a pate-type porridge. Currently popular electrospinning and hydrogel solutions that are used to activate tissue products in cell culture are 90% more expensive than what Gelatex can do with its technology. If currently popular manufacturing solutions persist, lab-grown meat will only be affordable for the wealthiest businesses and individuals. Yet by 2040, it is estimated that cultured meat accounts for 35% of global meat production. And the demand for meat will only increase in growing Asian markets.
Gelatex has earned the trust of United States Techstars accelerator to find worthy investors. The 1.2 M selection round led by Change company and Crosslight Partners is proof that early-trend investors trust in their vision and their team. The question remains, however: are cell culture meat producers ready to take a significant step forward in meat manufacturing?
CEO of Gelatex, Marlet-Erik Martens, underlined the fact that the round table is a first milestone for the start-up, but there are already many reasons to be proud of their achievements. “We are running several pilot projects with 8 of the top 10 world producers of cultured meat. We’ve done enough testing to know that our cheaper nanofibrous materials can make a real difference in the texture of cell culture meat. Currently a kilogram of scaffolding material costs around 100 000 euros. Today, thanks to our technology, we are able to easily produce nanofibrous scaffolds at a price of less than 1000 € / kg. If we stay true to our ambitions and continue to evolve our technology, it will only cost 40 euros in less than 5 years, ”Martens said.