Integriculture Inc., a cellular agriculture company has joined the “Space Food X Initiative” to eventually produce cell-based meat in space. In addition, Integriculture Inc. has developed “Space Salt™”, a salty flavoring for space food.
A sustainable long-term manned Moon and Mars missions require in situ production of food. Existing options of in situ food production such as indoor farms and algae culture are known to have issues in protein content and culinary socio-cultural aspects.
Integriculture Inc., which has been developing closed-loop cell culture systems that can be used on Moon and Mars, has joined “Space Food X Initiative” to add cell-based meat to options of food in space.
Upon joining the initiative, Integriculture Inc. considered how the company can contribute to future space-based culinary culture and developed a seasoning named “SpaceSalt™”, from the previously developed food grade culture medium, which was originally intended for use in production of cell-based meat. SpaceSalt™ opens a new horizon of seasoning, by containing all basic nutrients such as minerals, amino acids and vitamins, as well as having appetizing flavor elements such as saltiness and umami.
Integriculture Inc. envisages in situ production of SpaceSalt™ on the Moon to increase the efficiency of carbon and nitrogen recycle loops while aiming for ground market launch of SpaceSalt™ within 2019.
■Space Food X Initiative
Space Food X Initiative, lead by Euglena-SMBC-Nikko-Leaveanest Capital (Real Tech Fund), Sigmaxyz Co. Ltd., and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), aims to accelerate commercialization of in situ food production and distribution in space and their ground support. The initiative promotes development of products and services from Japan by facilitating collaborations between government, industry and academic institutions.
Space Food X initiative is a part of JAXA’s Space Innovation Partnership (J-SPARC) program, which targets to expand new space business sector.
■Food grade culture medium
Production of food by cell culture requires all ingredients of cell culture medium be made from approved food and food additives. Integriculture Inc. has developed “food grade culture medium” that satisfies these conditions.