Israeli cultivated meat startup ProFuse Technology has recently reported a breakthrough that could cut down on the time it takes to grow muscle for cultivated meat, potentially making production more efficient and sustainable.
Founded in 2021 by researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science, ProFuse Technology facilitates the production of fully mature muscle tissue in a 3D environment that mirrors conventionally farmed meat, a process meant to ensure that its product comes close to traditionally sourced meat in terms of taste and texture.
The startup announced that it has managed to cut down the duration of the muscle growth stage to only 48 hours – an 80 percent reduction in time. It has also managed to increase tissue protein content by a factor of five, making its product a protein-rich alternative to traditional meat sources.
The startup is based on a discovery made by ProFuse CTO Tamar Eigler-Hirsh when she was a postdoc fellow at a Weizmann lab. She was experimenting with cultured muscle stem cells when she and her colleagues noticed quick muscle regeneration.
This was the result of a process in which muscle stem cells called myoblasts are exposed to a small molecule that blocks an enzyme called ERK, leading them to differentiate and fuse into tiny fibers and to the activation of another enzyme that begins muscle regeneration.
“ProFuse Technology’s proprietary supplements and protocols achieve effective production in 3D environments without resorting to genetic modification. Our commitment lies in supporting production of sustainable, ethical, and delectable alternatives to conventionally farmed meat,” said Eigler-Hirsh.
“Profuse Technology stands poised to revolutionize the future of meat production, offering a sustainable and ethical pathway toward a more protein-rich world.”