BioCraft Pet Nutrition, the first biotech company to develop cultured meat for the pet food market, announces it has derived and characterized a chicken cell line for both cat and dog food, adding another meat ingredient to its portfolio that already includes cultured mouse meat.
BioCraft’s proprietary cultured chicken offers all essential nutrients cats and dogs need, without chemical and bacterial contaminants, antibiotics, steroids or other hormones such as can be found in traditional meat. Derived from stem cells, BioCraft’s chicken is neither genetically modified nor immortalized. While it is common to license cell lines from third-party providers, BioCraft’s cell lines are wholly owned by the company, with the chicken stem cell line being derived by BioCraft’s in-house stem cell scientist and veterinarian, Rupal Tewari, MSc, PhD, DVM.
Although chicken is among the top allergens for both cats and dogs, it is still one of the most commonly used ingredients in pet food. As such, BioCraft has developed the chicken cell line to meet the demand of pet food manufacturer partners, and consumers, for conventional species.
“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 BioCraft Founder and CEO Dr. Shannon Falconer. “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.”
BioCraft is working directly with pet food manufacturers interested in transitioning their conventional meat ingredients to supply-chain stable, sustainable, safe, humane cultured meat. BioCrafted meat offers pet food companies a more uniform raw material that is significantly less likely to carry any pathogens such as Salmonella, E. coli and other common fecal-borne bacteria that lead to costly recalls.
BioCraft’s chicken is created with the consistency of the “meat slurry” used in conventional pet food manufacturing and can be used as a one-to-one replacement in wet or dry foods, treats and fresh pet foods. BioCrafted meats are nutritionally robust, with all required protein, key vitamins, fats and amino acids such as taurine—a nutrient typically lost during high-heat processing during the rendering process of conventional meat, then added back in synthetic form for nutritionally complete pet foods.
BioCrafted meat grows in a controlled and pathogen-free environment surrounded by a liquid medium of vitamins and minerals formulated without fetal bovine serum (FBS), a process ingredient inhumanely obtained from the slaughter of pregnant cows that has been commonly used to produce other cultured meats.
Conventional meat production—for pets and people—has devastating consequences, including climate change, animal cruelty and risks to public health. Animals are fed diets laden with antibiotics, a primary contributor to antibiotic resistance in humans and pets, and hormonal steroids to accelerate their growth. The intensive confinement of animals to slaughter for meat is contributing to air and water pollution, deforestation, desertification and ocean dead zones, while also promoting deadly outbreaks and zoonotic diseases. More than 25 percent of the environmental impact of animal agriculture is attributed to feeding pets in the U.S. alone: if cats and dogs occupied their own country, they would be the world’s fifth largest meat-consuming nation.