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August 24, 2018

India hosts its first food-tech revolution summit in Hyderabad

Future of Protein Summit 2018 looks to promote development of protein alternative

Humane Society International/India

  • Charanya Ramakrishnan

HYDERABAD—Humane Society International/India, with the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Good Food Institute & Atal Incubation Centre, organised a conclave to discuss the future of clean and plant-based meat in Indian Institute of Chemical Technology. This was the first event of its kind in India.

The event featured Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, Hon’ble Union Cabinet Minister of India, as the keynote speaker. She discussed the present trends of meat consumption and its impact on the environment and human health. While plant-based meat has been developed for decades, the trend is only beginning to grow in India. Clean meat, or meat cultured in laboratories from animal cells, is a new and developing technology being researched all around the world.

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“The current methods of producing eggs, meat, and dairy harm animals and contribute to climate change, food insecurity and antimicrobial resistance,” said N.G. Jayasimha, managing director of HSI/India. “We believe the time is ripe for India’s food technology and biotechnology industry to innovate in the field of alternative protein and propel this revolutionary movement forward.”

“Clean meat, while theoretically possible, needs major technological interventions for the necessary scaling up and reduction in production cost,” said Rakesh Mishra, director of CCMB. “Scaling up and cost reduction is also needed for future medicines like bioactives, antibody therapy, etc. Considering these needs, it is high time to focus on technologies that bring cell culture or equivalent approaches in the reach of medical and nutritional demand.”

“Plant-based meats and clean meat can and will be vastly superior solutions to feed our growing population. We think of these foods as leapfrog technologies, which will allow us to invest in food processing, nutrition, scientific research, and creating lucrative end markets for farmers,” said Varun Despande, managing director of Good Food Institute. “The world's most visionary innovators, such as Bill Gates, Richard Branson and the largest meat companies and venture capitalists, are already coming on board. We firmly believe that Indian startups and scientists can join this pathbreaking sector, and contribute to building a healthier, more humane and more sustainable food system.”

HSI/India and CCMB, under the Atal Incubation Centre, are collaborating to develop and promote clean meat in India. The partnership aims to bring start-ups and regulators together under the same roof.

Conscious consumers can make the world a better place by following the Three Rs of eating: “reducing” or “replacing” consumption of animal products, and “refining” our diets by choosing products from sources that adhere to higher animal welfare standards. Donate now to help animals.

Media Contact: Neelam Naseeb, nnaseeb@hsi.org, +919205104695

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