PRAGUE — Bio-technology startup Bene Meat Technologies’ (BMT) cultured meat has been registered with the European Feed Materials Register, allowing the company to produce and sell its cultured meat products to the European pet food industry. According to BMT, this makes it the only entity throughout the globe that can produce and sell its product for pet food formulas.

Originally, the company shared it had received approval from the European Union; however, the company later clarified that it has only registered its cultured meat in the European Feed Materials Register as a new feed ingredient.

“We’re excited to have achieved [registration] of a new raw material from the European Feed Materials Register, binding for the entire European Union; this first is the beginning of our journey to include the production and sale of other forms of cultured meat,” said Roman Kříž, managing director of BMT.

Founded in 2020, BMT has been hard at work to develop and commercialize its cultured meat. The company originally started with a goal for application in human food but saw significant opportunity in the pet food market. Through its cultured meat, BMT aims to help pet food manufacturers with their sustainability goals while also offering an affordable price.

“Thanks to the obtained [registration], nothing prevents us from taking further steps; we’re negotiating with feed manufacturers to get this wonderful product into production,” said Tomáš Kubeš, head of strategic projects at BMT.

BMT’s cultured meat is produced in laboratory bioreactors without the use of fetal bovine serum (FBS), which can be extremely expensive to procure and often lacks scalability, according to the company. Instead, BMT non-violently removes cells from a living animal, then grows them in a nutrient-rich medium. The resulting product is then texturized and formed into the desired shape and ready for use in pet food formulas. Through this method, BMT’s cultured meat offers a more competitive price, according to the company.

Additionally, BMT’s cultured meat products also boast high-quality and purity. According to the company, this purity may provide further benefits to dogs and cats compared to pet foods made from traditional animal-based ingredients.

Bene Meat Technologies' cultured meat offers a competitive price point and scalabilitySource: Bene Meat Technologies

BMT is also able to adapt its technological process according to specific needs of pet food manufacturers with a team of 80 international scientists.

According to the company, its EU registration represents an important milestone for the pet food industry, animal agriculture industry and pet parents.

“It is hugely welcome to see the advent of a new kind of meat from stem-cells grown in a bioreactor being offered as a much more sustainable alternative,” said Philip Lymbery, global chief executive of Compassion in World Farming International (CIWF), which seeks to reform the food and farming system to establish more humane, fair and sustainable conditions throughout the animal agriculture industry. “It really is good news to see cultivated meat produced without harming any animals entering the marketplace.”

Following this, BMT plans to introduce the first pet food made with cultured meat next year, with its production scale set to expand in the second half of 2024. The company was also recently selected to participate in the fall 2023 cohort of Plug and Play Topeka, an accelerator program based in the United States.

“We know that at this stage of the research we have already met the needs of pet food producers, who are constantly looking for ethically and economically meaningful ways to satisfy their demanding customers, pet owners, with their products,” Kříž said. “And we are personally excited that for the first time in history we are offering a quality meat alternative without killing animals and at a competitive price.”

Read more news from pet food and treat industry suppliers.