Innovative product with cultivated beef fat: Mirai Foods collaborates with Rügenwalder Mühle, market leader for meat alternatives
Mirai Foods, the Swiss cultivated meat startup from Zurich, opens the next chapter in its young history. For the development of a hybrid product, the company partners with the sustainability pioneer and meat alternatives market leader in Germany, Rügenwalder Mühle.
Zurich/Bad Zwischenahn, 1. November 2022 – Rügenwalder Mühle plans to further expand their role as innovation leader in the area of vegetarian and vegan meat alternatives by incorporating cultivated meat into their portfolio. The family run business from Bad Zwischenahn (Germany) will develop a new, hybrid product consisting of plant based proteins and cultivated fat. To achieve this, the company partnered with the Swiss cultivated meat startup Mirai Foods, which has already developed technologies that enable the production of high quality muscle and fat tissue by utilizing bioreactors.
Combining competencies for sustainable innovation
For the development of the new hybrid product, Rügenwalder Mühle provides its long time know-how in the area of plant based meat alternatives and Mirai Foods provides its knowledge around cultivated fat. The final product will be a combination of plant based proteins and cultivated beef fat – a real innovation. Consequently, coconut fat, an ingredient currently used for many vegan and vegetarian meat alternatives, will be replaced by cultivated fat, leading to a significant taste enhancement. “It is the fat in a burger which gives beef the distinctive taste of grilled meat. Until today, it has not been possible to recreate this taste with plant based fat alternatives,” says Patrick Bühr, Head of Research and Development at Rügenwalder Mühle. The target customers for this new product are flexitarians and meat lovers, who value sustainability. It is crucial that the cultivated beef is completely free of fetal bovine serum (FBS).
“The partnership with Rügenwalder Mühle underscores our claim to leadership in the area of cultivated beef. We are delighted that Rügenwalder appreciates our innovative power and we are looking forward to developing new products together, which will convince even the greatest meat lovers,” says Christoph Mayr, CEO and co-founder of Mirai Foods.
“Through the collaboration with Mirai, we expand our vegan protein competence with the area of cultivated meat. By combining plant based proteins and cultivated fat, we close the last remaining gap in terms of taste and thus continue to defend our claim to co-shape the change in nutritional preferences and to be ‘open for innovation’,” elaborates Patrick Bühr.
Long journey ahead for cultivated meat in Germany
The development of one of the first hybrid products in Germany is part of the journey of Rügenwalder Mühle towards more sustainable meat consumption. Due to the fact that cultivated meat is grown outside the animal’s body, no cow has to die for the meat to be produced. „Cultivated meat is one of the largest levers for sustainable meat consumption, because the drawbacks of conventional meat production like land usage, water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions are reduced significantly,“ explains Patrick Bühr. “However, the necessary regulatory frameworks and approvals still need to be set in Germany and also in the EU. We expect that our product will come to the market in 2025 at the earliest – nevertheless, we are starting with the development today, so that we are ready to act when the regulatory approval is granted.”
About Mirai Foods
MIRAI FOODS is a Swiss deep tech food company and one of the fastest moving, vertically integrated, 2nd generation cultivated meat startups. The company’s focus is on non-GMO, premium beef. Since its inception in 2019, the company has developed ground-breaking technologies that enable the cost-efficient and scalable production of natural, highest quality, 100% cultivated beef that is tasty, nutritious, and healthy. The unique combination of its patented technologies allows the company to produce whole cut filets and steaks, among other product types.
About Rügenwalder Mühle
The assortment of Rügenwalder Mühle not only consist of about 25 traditional meat and sausage types, but since 2014 also around 30 vegetarian and vegan alternatives. Rügenwalder Mühle Carl Müller GmbH & Co. KG. was founded 1834 by Carl Müller in Rügenwalde and is today one of the most popular food makers in Germany. Since 2014, Rügenwalder Mühle has been a pioneer in vegetarian/vegan meat and sausage alternatives, and leads the market today. The red mill, the trademark of Rügenwalder, stands for artisan tradition and the best ingredients. With about 850 employees, the company headquartered in the German town of Bad Zwischenhahn, generated an annual net sales turnover of EUR 263.3 in 2021. The family business’ management is in its seventh generation and in the hands of Dr. Gunnar Rauffus as Chairman of the Board. Managing Directors are Michael Hähnel (Chairman) and Jörg Pfirrmann.
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