VIENNA, AUSTRIA — BioCraft Pet Nutrition announced June 28 it has developed a chicken cell line for use in dog and cat food. The innovation adds to the company’s current portfolio of cultured mouse meat.

“While cultured mouse meat — the ancestral diet of the cat — remains our primary focus for cat food, the new chicken cell line for cats or dogs is ideal for pet food manufacturers and ultimately pet parents who lean toward more traditional meat ingredients,” said Shannon Falconer, Ph.D., founder and chief executive officer at BioCraft.

According to the company, the cultured chicken ingredient contains all essential nutrients — including protein levels, key vitamins, fats and amino acids, such as taurine — without the antibiotics, steroids, hormones, or other chemical or bacterial contaminants that are typically found in traditional animal protein sources. The ingredient is derived and characterized from stem cells, which are wholly owned by BioCraft, rather than being licensed from a third-party.

Despite being classified as a common allergen for dogs and cats, BioCraft chose chicken as its latest cultured innovation due to it being the most used protein in the pet food and treat industry. The development aims to help processors meet demand for alternative protein sources that tout sustainability, animal welfare and supply chain stability benefits.

Scientists at BioCraft Pet NutritionSource: BioCraft Pet Nutrition

The consistency of the new cultured chicken is similar to the traditional “meat slurry” used by many pet food and treat processors today. This means the ingredient can be used as a one-to-one replacement for traditional chicken slurries in dry, wet and fresh pet foods and treats.

The ingredient is grown in a controlled environment in a liquid medium of vitamins and minerals, according to BioCraft. The company does not use fetal bovine serum, which has been used commonly to produce other cultured meat products in the past.

The company’s chicken stem cell line is the result of BioCraft’s in-house team of stem cell scientists and Rupal Tewari, Ph.D., DVM.

“Dr. Tewari’s rare combination of expertise in stem cell and veterinary science are unique in the industry, and give us an advantage over every other cultured meat company,” Falconer said.

Read more about product development, ingredients and formulation.