Cultured meat innovator Meatable is working to bring cultivated pork products to market.
But while its technology was developed in the Netherlands, Meatable is looking further afield – to Singapore – for initial market entry.
This is also where the start-up recently received approval from the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) for the first tasting, which the company believes puts it on track to launch in 2024.
First stop: Singapore
For Meatable, Singapore is the ‘perfect’ launch country for its cultivated pork products, followed by the US.
Both these countries have seen cultivated meat products pass through their regulatory processes. In the US, cultivated meat companies have begun to successfully complete pre-market safety reviews, but Singapore remains the only country to market such a product – which it initiated back in late 2020.
This makes Singapore an obvious choice for initial market entry. “Currently, Singapore is the furthest along when it comes to the commercialisation of cultivated meat – it was the first country to approve the production and sales of cultivated meat in 2020 as part of its 30 by 30 strategy – which aims to build up its agri-food industry’s capability and capacity to produce 30% of its nutritional needs locally and sustainably by 2030,” Caroline Wilschut, director of commerce and strategy at Meatable, explained.
By leveraging its proprietary opti-ox technology, Meatable needs one single cell sample only to replicate the natural growth of muscle and fat to create real meat. Meatable’s process, which it believes is the fastest in the field, does not require the use of foetal bovine serum (FBS).
The start-up has also instigated a partnership with contract manufacturer ESCO Aster and plant-based butcher Love Handle in Singapore, in preparation of its market launch – which it is predicting for 2024.
Meatable is also in conversation with US experts and authorities, Wilschut revealed, which it expects will be its second-launch country.
“We’ll look to expand more widely from Singapore and the US from 2026, depending on the regulatory approval in each country and region,” the commercial and strategy lead told this publication.
“Recently, we’ve seen positive steps from regulators in countries such as China, Japan, Israel, Australia and New Zealand.”
As to Meatable’s native Europe, the company is currently working with European regulators to bring cultivated meat products to the continent, as well with the Dutch government to give ‘selected’ invitees the opportunity to taste its product before launching in the Netherlands and the rest of Europe.
“As a European company, we are excited to launch here.”
However, it is a ‘long and complex’ process to submit for novel food approval in Europe, Wilschut told us, “and it can take around three to six years”.
Meatable is hoping to submit the necessary documents and materials to begin authorisation in the EU and said it will work closely with the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) during the process.
A ‘major milestone’ achieved
Over the last few months, Meatable has been working with the SFA to meet its ‘stringent’ safety requirements needed to give approval to hold cultivated meat tastings.
The SFA regulatory exemption was received, which co-founder and CEO Krijn de Nood said marks a ‘significant milestone’ for Meatable. “First of all, it allows our partners to taste and experience our delicious products and secondly, for us as a company, this is an important step towards regulatory approval for sales in Singapore.”
Meatable invited a ‘select group’ of retail partners and the Singaporean Economic Development Board (EDB) to try its cultivated pork sausage product. These partners will help Meatable to develop, optimise and launch its products in restaurants and supermarkets, the start-up explained.
Results from the tasting are in, with adjectives used to describe the product by invitees including ‘delicious’, ‘satisfying’, ‘meaty’ in texture.
Meatable plans to organise more tastings in Singapore and internationally in the coming months.
Keen to hear more about alternative meat and dairy? Tune in to our free-to-attend broadcast event Protein Vision, which will stream across four sessions on 21-22 June 2023.
Streaming across four sessions on 21-22 June 2023, Protein Vision will profile the technology, ingredients and culinary science powering the next generation of meat- and dairy-free innovation. We’ll be asking how the sector can rebuild momentum and truly take a bit out of conventional meat and dairy sales.