Vital Meat Seeks Approval to Commercialise Cultivated Chicken in the UK – vegconomist

Vital Meat Seeks Approval to Commercialise Cultivated Chicken in the UK – vegconomist

French cultivated meat company Vital Meat has officially submitted its novel food dossier to the British Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Food Standards Scotland (FSS) for the approval of its first cell-based meat product, Vital Chicken.

This submission initiates an 18 to 24-month review process by food safety experts and scientists in the UK. However, the company is optimistic about its approval due to its non-GMO, antibiotic-free, and animal-component-free process. Once approved, Vital Meat will be able to market its Vital Chicken product in England, Wales, and Scotland.

“We can’t wait to start commercialization in Great Britain; chicken is one of the most consumed meats over there”

This is Vital Meat’s second novel food dossier submission, following a previous application to the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) at the end of last year. Soon after, the Les Républicains party of France introduced a bill in the National Assembly aiming to prohibit the production and marketing of cultivated meat in the country while also denouncing the financing of Vital Meat and the cultivated foie gras company Gourmey. However, no further action has been taken to date. 

© Vital Meat

Dr. Claude Rescan, Vital Meat’s regulatory expert, stated, “We are going through the questions and answers process with scientific experts from SFA, and so far the discussion is very smooth and is going well.” CEO Etienne Duthoit added, “We are very confident and are already collaborating with a Singaporean chef and food companies to prepare for the market launch as soon as the approval is granted.”

Expansion into the UK

COO Olivia de Talancé noted the strategic importance of the UK market: “The decision to expand into the UK swiftly follows our Singaporean endeavour. Asia, particularly Singapore, is an important market for us with consumers that are open to new foods and a business ecosystem open to innovation.”

The company chose Great Britain for its realistic and environmentally conscious consumers, who are receptive to innovation and health awareness. Additionally, the FSA’s proactive stance in facilitating the regulatory process, including a survey on cell-cultivated products, underscores their support.

Vital Meat pilot facility
© Vital Meat

Product and food safety

Vital Meat’s novel product, Vital Chicken, is intended to be sold as an ingredient to food companies for use in plant-based recipes, adding authentic chicken flavor, improved nutritional profiles, and fewer ingredients. Talancé commented, “Health is of paramount importance to us. We are committed to not using antibiotics or any other controversial ingredients, such as fetal bovine serum or any other animal product.”

The company aims to make its product economically viable and socially accepted. Transitioning to industrial production is crucial for achieving this goal. Through a strategic partnership with Biowest, a leading producer of cell culture media in Europe, Vital Meat has reduced production costs and achieved consistent production capacity, supporting its efforts to provide affordable cultivated meat. 

Duthoit concludes, “We can’t wait to start commercialisation in Great Britain; chicken is one of the most consumed meats over there. We are now preparing our launch in 2025 and looking for food partners.”

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