The development of bioreactors to produce cultivated meat is a significant milestone in the industry. Historically, producing cultivated meat has been an expensive and time-consuming process, which has limited its adoption. On of the main obstacles to growth in the cultivated food sector is the lack of bioreactors needed to produce cultivated and bio-fermented foods en masse. However, recent advancements in bioreactor technology offer a more efficient and cost-effective method of production, which is crucial for scaling up the production of cultivated meat.
Cocoon Bioscience, a Spanish-based company, has emerged as a game-changer in the cultivated meat industry due to its groundbreaking approach of using caterpillar loopers as living bioreactors. Unlike conventional approaches, which rely on microbial fermentation in large steel vats, Cocoon Bioscience's technique involves injecting each cocoon with a Baculovirus that encodes the specific protein or enzyme required. Cocoon Bioscience CEO, Josh Robinson, explains “It’s kind of like leveraging cocoons as natural, low-cost bioreactors. When [humans] catch a virus like a flu, we make a bunch of mucus. Similarly, these moths catch this virus Baculovirus and make whatever protein or enzymes are sequenced into that virus.”
This innovative and sustainable approach has the potential to revolutionize the industry by providing a more efficient and environmentally friendly method of producing cultivated meat.