Cellular Agriculture

Cellular Agriculture

Farming animal products from cells instead of animals

Introduction to Cellular Agriculture

Modern agriculture and the associated agri-food system leave an enormous ecological footprint. The unsustainability of the system is to a great extent caused by livestock farming for the production of meat and dairy products. Given the expected global increase in consumption of these nutrient-rich products due to rising affluence and population growth, it is imperative to explore new ways to create a sustainable food system.


Cellular agriculture is a breakthrough innovation that could fundamentally change the agri-food system. By producing products like meat and milk through biotechnological processes, cellular agriculture decouples the production of animal products from the number of animals. Therefore, compared to conventional production methods, this approach has the potential to leave a significantly smaller environmental footprint and feed the world’s growing population. However, for cellular agriculture to contribute to the achievement of sustainable development, it requires acceptance and legitimacy in society. A key point in achieving this is to develop products that are as close as possible in texture and taste to the classic animal product.

This is where Hydrosol comes in. As a decades-long expert in stabilizing and texturizing systems, we are a sparring partner when it comes to developing end products to be produced using cellular agriculture. From hybrid burger patties with cultured muscle cells, to hybrid bacon with cultured fat, to dairy products with precision fermented proteins, everything is conceivable. Challenge us!

Cellular agriculture offers unprecedented opportunities. Although there are challenges in developing these future technologies, such as scaling and consumer acceptance – if these are overcome, these technologies can make an important contribution to sustainably feeding the world’s growing population.

Katharina Burdorf, Ambassador Cellular Agriculture , Team Lead Product Management & PhD Candidate with focus on acceptance of cultured meat

Cellular and Acellular Products

Cellular agriculture encompasses two distinct types of products: cellular and acellular.

Approaches in cellular farming offer unique ways to produce animal-based products, providing alternatives that address sustainability, animal welfare, and ethical concerns.

Acellular process

The acellular production process revolves around manipulating genes or DNA. For example, microorganisms such as yeasts are encoded with a DNA sequence for a desired ingredient and thus serve as host cells. These modified microorganisms contain the genetic instructions to produce the specific ingrdedient like a dairy protein. They are then cultivated in a bioreactor, provided with essential nutrients and the ideal conditions for growth and protein production. Once enough protein has been produced, the microorganisms are separated and the protein purified. The resulting purified protein can be used in the production of regular dairy products or dairy alternatives. These proteins are considered vegan-friendly but possess similar properties and advantages of traditional dairy proteins. The process is already well-established and widely used, as seen with the production of insulin using similar methods.

Graphic: inspired by Tuomisto, 2019

Cellular process

In contrast, cellular products involve taking animal cells, such as stem cells, through a biopsy process. These cells are placed in a bioreactor, where they are provided with nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and amino acids and other components under ideal conditions. The cells then multiply and differentiate into muscle cells or fat cells. Over time, they change their shape and, in the case of muscle cells, eventually resemble muscle fibers that can be harvested. However, it is important to note that the resulting product is more akin to minced meat with a higher water content rather than a traditional steak. The process of producing cellular products is more complex and intricate compared to acellular products. A major challenge is to achieve the desired meaty texture, which in most cases involves a necessary combination with other ingredients such as plant-based proteins.

Graphic: inspired by Tuomisto, 2019

Would you like to produce an end product based on your cellular agricultural ingredient? We would be happy to develop a solution together with you.

Tel.: +49 4102 89 64 55 33 1

New opportunities

Hybrid plant-based & cultivated meat

Imagine mixing cultured meat, in the media often termed “lab-grown meat,” with plant-based proteins. These hybrid products would offer the best of both worlds – the taste, texture, and familiarity of traditional meat, with the added benefits of sustainability and reduced environmental impact. This innovation could mark a significant turning point in global efforts to combat climate change and meet the growing demand for ethical and sustainable food options, shaping a more promising and conscious future of food consumption. Many companies working on cultivated meat will initially release hybrid plant protein/cultivated meat products.

Source: GFI (2023)

The price of alternative proteins could reach parity with conventional meat over the next decade

Relative timing of cost parity for alternative proteins with conventional animal meat

The price of a product is a decisive purchase criterion for consumers. Thus, as for plant-based alternatives, for cellular agriculture products the time when price parity with the conventional animal equivalent is achieved is of paramount importance. According to forecasts, acellular products manufactured with the help of microorganisms are expected to reach price parity with conventional animal meat as early as 2025. Cellular products based on cell cultures, on the other hand, will not reach price parity with conventional animal meat until 2032. However, some start-ups are convinced that they will reach this milestone sooner.

Source: BCG; Blue Horizon
US and Europe data; variations of product group and geographic area omitted for clarity.


Our expertise in meat texturing adds value to cultured meat products. It ensures that the final product has the desired taste and texture, thereby increasing consumer satisfaction. The capabilities we offer in prototyping and refinement help producers perfect their cultured meat offerings and align them with dynamic consumer preferences. We supply premium raw materials, taking your and your customers’ needs into account for the ideal texture and mouthfeel. This helps cultured meat companies create superior products. We develop custom-made stabilizing systems using the latest pilot production systems. Our specialists then help to transfer trial results to your large-scale production lines.
Do you produce precision-fermented ingredients and want to benefit from a strong partner? In this case, there are also different approaches to cooperation.

Source: inspired by Wildtype

Stern Technology Center

Space for creativity and innovations

At the Stern-Wywiol Gruppe’s 4200 sqm research center near Hamburg, Germany, over 100 technologists from 11 German affiliates work in 12 labs. Their innovative ideas improve our customers’ products or even make them possible in the first place.
Here, our Hydrosol specialists have the ideal applications technology and facilities to think through and test innovative solutions. Confidential collaboration with customers and exchange of ideas with colleagues at other Group companies give rise to pioneering innovations.
At the Stern Technology Center, our goal is to extend the boundaries of the possible. With the latest equipment and modern laboratories we drive application-focused research and development. We pay close attention to the individual needs of our customers and develop tailor-made solutions to them. The Stern Technology Center is a place for knowledge exchange and inspiring ideas. Contact us today and discover the possibilities it offers you.
The Stern Technology Center – your partner for outstanding research and pioneering innovations.