BioCraft Pet Nutrition is a cultivated meat ingredients supplier for pet food manufacturers. It was founded in 2016 by Shannon Falconer to create sustainable, slaughter-free pet food.
“More than 25 percent of the environmental impact of animal agriculture is attributed to feeding pets in the US alone: if cats and dogs occupied their own country, they would be the world’s fifth largest meat-consuming nation,” argues BioCraft Pet Nutrition.
According to the company, chicken is among the conventional species preferred by pet food manufacturers and consumers as a protein source, despite being among the top allergens for cats and dogs.
BioCraft Pet Nutrition claims its proprietary cultivated chicken provides pets with all the necessary nutrients. It contains all the required proteins, vitamins, fats, and amino acids, including taurine. Additionally, its production avoids chemical and bacterial pollutants, antibiotics, steroids, or hormones typically found in traditional meat.
“While cultured mouse meat—the ancestral diet of the cat — remains our primary focus for cat food, the new chicken cell line for cats or dogs is ideal for pet food manufacturers and ultimately pet parents who lean toward more traditional meat ingredients,” said Falconer, who is also the CEO of BioCraft Pet Nutrition.
In-house chicken cell lines
To grow the newly cultivated product, the company’s stem cell scientist and veterinarian, Rupal Tewari, derived a cell line from chicken stem cells that were neither immortalized nor genetically modified. To achieve its “no slaughter goals,” the company grows its cell lines in a proprietary growth medium that does not require the controversial ingredient fetal bovine serum.
“Dr. Tewari’s rare combination of expertise in stem cell and veterinary science are unique in the industry, and gives us an advantage over every other cultured meat company,” said Falconer.
BioCraft is located in North America and Europe. Its subsidiary company, BioCraft Pet Nutrition GmbH in Austria, conducts the company’s R&D. BioCraft investors include Draper Associates, SOSV, KEEN Growth Capital, Orkla Food Ingredients, Sentient Investment, Hack Capital, and angel investors.