Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating General Requests / Opportunities Lab-grown animal fat company looking to speak with cosmetic scientists

  • Lab-grown animal fat company looking to speak with cosmetic scientists

    Posted by Anonymous on July 22, 2020 at 5:02 pm

    Hi Chemists Corner! First time poster here.

    I’m writing from Mission Barns, a venture backed startup in Berkeley, CA creating a better way to make animal fat. Our process involves isolating cells from an animal, growing the cells in a cultivator and then harvesting the fat. Our end product is identical from what you’d get from an animal, but is more pure, consistent, cruelty-free, and radically more sustainable.

    We’re doing some research about the potential cosmetic applications of our products. If you’re a professional cosmetic chemist who might be interesting in using our fat, please comment here or send me a DM!

    Thanks a lot!

    letsalcido replied 3 years, 11 months ago 4 Members · 4 Replies
  • 4 Replies
  • Pharma

    July 22, 2020 at 7:35 pm
    Why do you grow animal cells in vitro to produce fat if you could simply plant trees? I know, this sounds like a comment of ‘one of those people’… For your information, I worked with maybe a dozen different animal and human cell lines during my PhD and post doc. Producing these cells, although some grew like crazy, was a very wasteful process and I have a hard time imagining how in vitro cultivation of animal cells could be environmentally friendly… I can imagine that it has a somewhat better carbon footprint than a swine or cow farm but why not grow some algae? Algae are great and you can keep them under less sterile in vitro conditions or just in some tanks using mineral fertilisers instead and light of a nutrient broth :) .
    Two more questions:
    Did prices finally drop for fully defined FBS-free media? 10 years back they were still super pricey.
    Is your production GMO-free? My cell cultures including all materials either contained FBS and/or were crowded with GMO derived growth factors.
    For those not familiar with FBS: This stands for Fetal Bovine Serum. It’s serum (the liquid stuff of blood) obtained from baby cows removed from the womb of freshly slaughtered cows shortly before calving. 20 years back it was nearly impossible to grow animal cells without that additive and first ‘fully synthetic’ replacements were slowly showing up. Still 10 years ago the replacement media were anything but easy on the budget (or nature).
    Why should someone use animal fat in their product? That’s something done before (the good old days of stearate vanishing creams) so why now in a time where we have all those fancy sounding ‘rare’ oils from the Amazonian rainforest, highly spreading ester oils and even pure hydrocarbons from renewable resources?
    BTW cosmetics is anything but environmentally friendly. It’s smearing stuff in your face which hungry people on this planet would love to eat. Seriously, cosmetics is kinda schizophrenic… maybe work on your marketing? Folks love for example the immortal stem cell story and basically buy overpriced in vitro apple juice, not because it’s good for the planet but because of immortality and because it’s fancy and new and expensive and hence must work miracles ;) .
  • OldPerry

    July 22, 2020 at 8:26 pm

    Interesting technology, post and follow-up comments @Pharma

    I took this technology to be something that naturally went along with efforts to develop animal free meat.  Maybe it’s a by-product of that process?

    Either way, this is one of the most interesting ideas in raw materials that I’ve seen in awhile. Not sure if it will go anywhere but I’ll keep watching. 

  • belassi

    July 22, 2020 at 11:30 pm

    I can imagine a market in which it replaces tallow. However, tallow is so cheap that I can’t imagine being able to compete with it. Not in the soap industry. I can’t see any use for my designs. I have no use for animal type fats, I use combinations of vegetable or nut oils, and artificial, designed, esters.

  • letsalcido

    July 23, 2020 at 2:39 am

    @missionbarns there is a market for Coconut and Palm free cosmetics. While the animal fat itself may be of little use as a raw material for cosmetics, if you have developed a truly sustainable and cost-effective way of producing the most widely used fatty acids (stearic, palmitic, lauric, myristic…) that are usually extracted from coconut or palm, there is a potential market in the raw material production as another source of more renewable hydrocarbons. Take for example biotechnologically produced squalane (neossance). 

    @Pharma I’m sure you’re aware of the impact of agriculture on deforestation, soil quality, etc… and of course the inevitable variability in yield due to weather, pests, etc. Even if certain trees are replaced with a different kind (oil palms), there is a negative impact. I think if they have found a commercially and environmentally viable way of producing animal meat and fats industrially (as a by product), this is promising. With algae, a quick read showed the fatty acid composition is highly variable and won’t produce as much saturated fatty acids of the kind used in cosmetics as animal cells would (without genetic modification of course).

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