Time for the steak harvest? Molecular farming looks to produce animal proteins in plants

November 16, 2020 |

In the United Kingdom, Moolec Science is looking to “molecular farm” by coaxing crops to create animal proteins. The company believes that by leveraging the scale of agriculture, the company can create meat more effectively than emerging cultured meat processes. 

“Molecular farming is not yet a fully explored technology in the alternative protein space,” says  Moolec CEO Gastón Paladini tells The Spoon. “We do all the science up front from the lab to use genetic engineering to express animal cells.”

The company, a spinout of Bioceres, has already genetically modified safflower to produce chymosin, an animal protein found in the intestines of cattle and goats that can also be produced via fermentation. The company already the enzyme to cheesemakers. The pharmaceutical industry has also used similar techniques to produce proteins for decades. 

Paladini doesn’t expect molecular farming to yield commercial products until 2025, in part because of the regulatory concerns surrounding GMOs. 

“The technology is quite straightforward in the end because we aim to bring farmers back to the equation,” said Paladin. “Because we put all our science up front, but at the end the biology, the sun and the land do the rest. We are using all the efficiency of the plants of a very low tech, a non tech-technology.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags: ,

Category: Chemicals & Materials

Thank you for visting the Digest.