Investing €25 million, Horizon Europe will be part of an EU programme that will develop cultivated meat and fermentation-based foods.
Horizon Europe has announced that it is investing €25 million to fund research into sustainable proteins.
The company will be involved in a European Union (EU) flagship research programme that includes three projects (spanning 2023-2024) to develop cultivated meat and fermentation-based foods.
Cultivated meat is produced by cultivating animal cells directly. With sustainability in mind, Horizon Europe has said that, compared with conventional meat production, cultivated meat can reduce the climate impact of meat by up to 92 per cent and use up to 95 per cent less land and 78 per cent less water.
What’s more, it has highlighted the sustainable benefits of switching to fermentation-made meat, noting research has shown that replacing 20 per cent of beef with the fermentation alternative could halve global deforestation.
Commenting on the investment, Acacia Smith, Senior Policy Manager at the Good Food Institute Europe (GFI), said: “Europe is home to some of the world’s best scientists, and this funding will help spark real innovation in cultivated meat and fermentation, making sure these sustainable foods are delicious and accessible to nearly half a billion Europeans.”
What are the projects?
The funding will be used to support numerous projects including:
- Cultured meat and cultured seafood – state of play and future prospects in the EU – This project has been given €7 million in funding to research how to reduce the costs of infrastructure and raw materials that are currently needed for cultivated meat. It will also be used to research how to scale up in a cost-effective way and identify solutions to improve the economic viability of this new food
- Microbiome for flavour and texture in the organoleptic dietary shift – A total of €9 million in funding has been set aside to research the creation of fermentation-based ingredients to improve the flavours and textures of plant-based meat, dairy and fish products. It will also be used to investigate piloting new precision fermentation techniques and develop new biomass production methods
- Impact of the development of novel foods based on alternative sources of proteins – This project will be given €9 million in funding to research the potential of foods including algae-based products and microbial proteins to address European Green Deal objectives.
Looking to the future, Smith concluded: “We now need to see national governments following this example and investing in the research and infrastructure needed to advance these foods.”