BioCraft Pet Nutrition unveiled its Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning tool, accelerating R&D to achieve cell proliferation and nutrient production.
BioCraft’s tool first collects and processes data from publicly available scientific literature and databases. It then synthesizes this data into a picture of the biochemical machinery inside a cell. It analyzes it to identify potential nutrient inputs that can elicit or enhance cell growth, nutrient biosynthesis or other biological processes for cultivated meat production.
“The main costs and time sinks on the way to commercialization are R&D-related, and our AI has substantially streamlined this process, accelerated our progress, and reduced costs,” said BioCraft founder and CEO Dr. Shannon Falconer. “In this application, AI can surpass the human brain for speed and efficiency, and helps us derive more complex conclusions by making more connections between more facts.”
BioCraft’s AI is similar to the platforms used by pharmaceutical companies for nearly a decade to help identify new drug targets and predict previously unknown metabolic effects, such as which chemical inputs and combinations elicit desired behaviors or inhibit undesirable ones. BioCraft’s platform processes data collected from sources, and can point researchers to the appropriate source, down to a specific sentence in a scientific paper.
Armed with AI, BioCraft is engaging in fewer—and more targeted—experiments in the lab to fine-tune its cell proliferation process and enhance the nutritional value of its cultivated meat. It has the ability to identify less expensive inputs and ingredients that are less likely to raise concerns in the regulatory approval process.
BioCraft states that its cultivated meats offer nutrients cats and dogs need, without chemical contaminants, antibiotics, steroids or other hormones and are less likely to carry pathogens such as Salmonella, E. coli and other common fecal-borne bacteria. Reportedly, the meats are nutritionally robust, with all required protein, key vitamins, fats and amino acids such as taurine—a nutrient typically lost during high-heat processing during the rendering process of conventional meat and then added back in synthetic form for nutritionally complete pet foods.
BioCraft is working with pet food manufacturers interested in transitioning their conventional meat ingredients to supply-chain stable, sustainable, safe, humane cultivated meat. BioCraft meat is available as a one-to-one replacement for the meat slurry used in conventional pet food manufacturing, usable in wet or dry foods, treats and fresh pet foods.
Conventional meat production—for pets and people—has devastating consequences, including climate change, animal cruelty and risks to public health. Animals are fed diets laden with antibiotics, a primary contributor to antibiotic resistance in humans and pets, and hormonal steroids to accelerate their growth. The intensive confinement of animals to slaughter for meat contributes to air and water pollution, deforestation, desertification and ocean dead zones. The company states that these practices promote deadly outbreaks and zoonotic diseases. More than 25% of the environmental impact of animal agriculture is attributed to feeding pets in the U.S. alone: if cats and dogs occupied their own country, they would be the world’s fifth largest meat-consuming nation.