The Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT) will work with the Good Food Institute (GFI), a non-profit organization that promotes the development and advancement of plant-based and clean meat, to open a lab in Mumbai by 2020.
The facility, dubbed the “Centre of Excellence in Cellular Agriculture,” will be followed by a larger research facility in Jalna, located in the state of Maharashtra, by 2021.
“This will be the world’s first dedicated centre on cellular agriculture. This centre will pioneer innovation, allowing Indian businesses a chance to create products using our research,” said Dr. Rekha Singhal, dean, research, consultancy and resource mobilization for ICT Mumbai, in a statement.
Each organization will raise funds from government and non-profit organizations for the development of clean meat.
“It will include state-of-the-art facilities for cell culturing and endow research fellowships in the various technology areas of cellular agriculture, including cell culture media, cell line isolation, scaffolding, and bioreactor design,” said Varun Deshpande of GFI.
Clean Meat in India
The Hyderabad-based CCMB, among other organizations across the globe, is actively working to upscale clean meat production, increase productivity, and roll products out to shelves at an affordable price.
HSI India’s Managing Director, N G Jayasimha told The Economic Times, “Clean meat technology is taking the world by storm with even the biggest meat producers investing in companies developing clean meat. It is time India begins this dialogue.”
Forbes previously reported that India’s growing rates of meat consumption could “impact all of us”, due to its effect on the planet. However, Forbes highlighted the “opportunity for companies that provide the experience of eating meat, without the sustainability challenges”.
Biologically speaking, the cell makeup of clean meat bears no difference to traditional meat. This results in a product that looks, feels, and tastes like meat, eliminating the need for animals to be bred and raised for slaughter for the food products that consumers desire.
Cell-based meat uses significantly less land and water than conventional meat production thus reducing its contribution to global warming. Additionally, livestock run-off, waste, and antibiotic use become non-existent within cellular agriculture.
In terms of health, the risk of bacterial contamination is drastically lowered; CNN previously reported on the FDA’s perceived backing of slaughter-free meat and stated its introduction could help reduce foodborne illnesses.
A recent survey found 41 percent of Brits will eat lab-grown meat and fish within the next decade. If the partnership between HSI India and CCMb is anything to go by, India may follow a similar futuristic food path.