Interest in animal cell-based meat (ACBM) or laboratory-grown meat has been increasing; however, the economic viability of these potential products has not been thoroughly vetted. Recent studies suggest monoclonal antibody production technology can be adapted for the industrialization of ACBM production. This study provides a scenario-based assessment of the projected cost per kilogram of ACBM produced in the United States based on cellular metabolic requirements and process/chemical engineering conventions. A sensitivity analysis of the model identified the nine most influential cost factors for ACBM production out of 67 initial parameters. The results indicate that technological performance will need to approach technical limits for ACBM to achieve profitably as a commodity. However, the model also suggests that low-volume high-value specialty products could be viable based on current technology.
Keywords: bioengineering; biomanufacturing; bioreactor; cell-based meat; cultured meat; process engineering; techno-economic assessment.