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    “世上最慘無人道的食物”將被技術取代

    “世上最慘無人道的食物”將被技術取代

    Jeremy Kahn 2021年07月20日
    法式鵝肝由鴨肝或鵝肝制作而成,長期以來一直被視為世上最慘無人道的食物之一。

    讓鵝肝生產不再“慘無人道”。

    在對鴨肝、鵝肝的實驗室培養技術、工藝進行優化完善之后,總部位于巴黎的初創企業——Gourmey公司做出了如是承諾。(如果你對其業務沒有概念,)不妨將其設想為米其林級別的Memphis Meats(細胞培養肉公司,現在名為Upside Foods)。

    7月14日,Gourmey宣布它已經籌集了1000萬美元的額外風投資金。

    法式鵝肝由鴨肝或鵝肝制作而成,長期以來一直被視為世上最慘無人道的食物之一,也是反對殘忍食物的人士眼中的頭號公敵。在飼養過程中,為了刺激鴨、鵝長出異常肥大、富含脂肪的肝臟,農場主會對鴨、鵝進行“填鴨式”喂養,并且每過一段時間就會進行一次斷食,如此循環往復,在屠宰前最后幾周,農場主甚至會將飼喂管直接插入鴨、鵝的喉嚨之中。

    包括英國在內,目前已經有17個國家明令禁止鵝肝的生產,英國也在考慮禁止從法國進口鵝肝。而在美國,加州已經于2004年通過禁令,禁止在該州生產這種口味綿密、細膩的食品(該禁令于2012年生效,自此之后便成了法庭的??停?。紐約市也將從明年開始禁止鵝肝的生產和銷售。出于道德原因,許多頂級廚師已經主動選擇將鵝肝從菜單中剔除。

    而在以法式大餐聞名世界的法國,作為一種傳統美食,法式鵝肝依然備受歡迎,在西班牙和日本其也很受消費者的追捧。從全球來看,法式鵝肝的市場規模每年可達20億美元。

    讓“人造肉制品”走入更高的美食殿堂

    Gourmey創立于2019年,作為Gourmey的聯合創始人及首席執行官,尼古拉斯?莫蘭-福雷表示,自己希望證明,實驗室制造的肉制品“不僅能夠用于制作漢堡”,還可以在“高級美食”中占據一席之地??紤]到法式鵝肝與法式大餐的緊密聯系,莫蘭-福雷選擇將其作為公司首款產品。他很清楚,隨著多地禁止生產和銷售法式鵝肝,許多頂級廚師已經開始尋找替代產品,這為“人造鵝肝”提供了現成的市場。

    市場營銷出身的莫蘭-福雷很明白,如果其初創企業能夠在實驗室中成功生產出“法式鵝肝”,那么該公司將獲得大量的免費宣傳,在法國更將一舉成名。此外,Gourmey也有望獲得頂級廚師、餐廳的認可和背書。

    根據法國法律的規定,“法式鵝肝”專指經由“填鴨喂養法”喂養出來的鴨子、鵝的肝臟制品。因此,在自己的祖國,Gourmey將無法稱其產品為“法式鵝肝”,而是將以“家禽美食”之名進行市場推廣。

    Gourmey是全球20多家試圖不使用動物、單純利用動物蛋白生產各種食品的初創企業之一。其他此類企業還有總部位于加州的行業先鋒——Upside Foods、同樣位于加州的Mission Barns、以色列的Aleph Farms和中國的先鋒肉類(Avant Meats)等等。這種技術為“零殘忍”小牛肉等食品的出現提供了可能,甚至“人造猶太培根”或許有朝一日都有可能出現在我們的餐桌之上。

    并非只有動物權利主義者希望人類停止通過養殖動物生產蛋白質,許多關心氣候變化的人士也持有相同觀點。牲畜是溫室氣體的重要排放來源,不僅奶??梢灾苯优欧偶淄?,為提供放牧所需的牧場、種植飼料作物所需的農場,許多原本能夠捕獲二氧化碳的樹木和森林也都遭到了砍伐和焚毀。不僅如此,學界普遍認為,使用抗生素治療家畜疾病是出現“超級細菌”的主要原因之一。

    美味的價格

    莫蘭-福雷指出,選擇售價相對高昂的“法式鵝肝”切入市場并非Gourmey偶然為之,而是經過戰略考量的結果。(由于“人造肉”成本較高),選擇法式鵝肝可以讓該公司的產品獲得一定的價格競爭力,讓該公司更有機會在相當的價位與農場生產出的產品同臺競技。對于其他以大眾食品(例如Upside Foods率先推出的漢堡包、雞胸肉產品和初創企業Eat Just發明的雞塊產品)為目標的“人造肉”而言,價格競爭力不足正是其潛在的致命弱點。消費者雖然從道德上會對人造蛋白質產品表示支持,但在高昂的售價面前也難免會打退堂鼓。

    Gourmey計劃先使用與法式鵝肝“系出同源”的鴨子、雞或火雞蛋干細胞生產其他禽類制品,然后在此基礎之上最終打造一條覆蓋全品類的“人造肉”產品線。

    Gourmey公司的員工。圖片來源:Courtesy of Gourmey

    7月14日,正值法國國慶日假期之際,Gourmey宣布已經從Point Nine、Air Street Capital、Heartcore、Partech、Big Idea Ventures、Eutopia Ventures、Ataraxia和Beyond Investing等風投公司獲得了1000萬美元的額外風投資金。

    莫蘭-福雷稱,公司計劃使用這筆資金對其法式鵝肝產品進行優化,并將在巴黎市中心建設生產設施,開始批量生產。他說:“我們希望通過行動表明,肉制品能夠在城市中心,也就是其消費市場進行生產?!盙ourmey還計劃雇傭更多的食品工程師和生物學家,將員工數量從20人增加到至少30人。

    要想銷售自家產品,該公司需要通過多國審批,而其中許多地方甚至尚未制訂有關“人造肉”的認證標準。莫蘭-福雷表示,Gourmey將首先尋求在美國獲批上市銷售,然后將把目標放在對法式鵝肝等美食需求日益飆升的亞洲國家(新加坡已經批準Eat Just的人造雞肉上市銷售),最后是歐盟國家。他希望從2022年年底或2023年年初開始,該公司的產品可以通過世界各地的優質食品經銷商和餐廳行銷全球。

    在實驗室打造細膩口感

    與莫蘭-福雷共同創建該公司的維克托?薩尤和安托萬?達維多夫(Antoine Davydoff)分別是分子生物學家和細胞生物學家,通過從鴨蛋中提取的干細胞制造法式鵝肝就是他們的想法。立項之初,他們就很清楚,打造法式鵝肝那種細膩、綿密的口感和風味絕非易事,只是他們也沒有料到難度竟然如此之大。

    莫蘭-福雷稱:“產品研發過程異常艱難?!惫颈仨毰宄凇疤铠喪健蔽桂B的過程中,鵝肝、鴨肝在分子層面發生了怎樣的變化。他說:“由于積累的脂肪過多,肝臟細胞瀕臨崩裂?!?/p>

    雖然Gourmey能夠通過研究農場主飼養鴨子和鵝時所使用的玉米和大豆來了解其蛋白質、脂質成分,進而設計、制造與之相匹配的成分來飼養肝細胞,但這只可以部分復制相關過程,不能獲得與農場生產的鵝肝相當的風味和質地。

    Gourmey公司的法式鵝肝樣品。圖片來源:Photo by Jeremy Kahn

    因此,該公司只得對法式鵝肝中的所有化合物進行仔細分析,確定影響其口味、外觀和質感的化合物究竟是哪些,然后再嘗試利用植物油進行復制,并與實驗室培養的肝細胞進行結合。莫蘭-福雷表示:“從最開始到我們找到滿意的原型版本,一共做了差不多600到650種化合物交互作用實驗?!?/p>

    那么他們的產品怎么樣呢?就Gourmey送給我的試吃樣品來看,其外觀有些奇怪:肉餅呈冰球大小,淺棕色,肉餅的餅身有一層黃色脂肪,不過味道卻與真品一般無二。至少就我的品味而言,這塊粉褐色鵝肝的味道、質地與農場生產的鵝肝并無差別,味道也確實不錯。

    莫蘭-福雷指出,在研發出法式鵝肝之后,Gourmey的下一個目標將是鴨胸肉,隨后可能進入雞柳市場。等著吃“人造雞翅全家桶”的消費者可能還要再耐心等等了。(財富中文網)

    譯者:梁宇

    審校:夏林

    讓鵝肝生產不再“慘無人道”。

    在對鴨肝、鵝肝的實驗室培養技術、工藝進行優化完善之后,總部位于巴黎的初創企業——Gourmey公司做出了如是承諾。(如果你對其業務沒有概念,)不妨將其設想為米其林級別的Memphis Meats(細胞培養肉公司,現在名為Upside Foods)。

    7月14日,Gourmey宣布它已經籌集了1000萬美元的額外風投資金。

    法式鵝肝由鴨肝或鵝肝制作而成,長期以來一直被視為世上最慘無人道的食物之一,也是反對殘忍食物的人士眼中的頭號公敵。在飼養過程中,為了刺激鴨、鵝長出異常肥大、富含脂肪的肝臟,農場主會對鴨、鵝進行“填鴨式”喂養,并且每過一段時間就會進行一次斷食,如此循環往復,在屠宰前最后幾周,農場主甚至會將飼喂管直接插入鴨、鵝的喉嚨之中。

    包括英國在內,目前已經有17個國家明令禁止鵝肝的生產,英國也在考慮禁止從法國進口鵝肝。而在美國,加州已經于2004年通過禁令,禁止在該州生產這種口味綿密、細膩的食品(該禁令于2012年生效,自此之后便成了法庭的??停?。紐約市也將從明年開始禁止鵝肝的生產和銷售。出于道德原因,許多頂級廚師已經主動選擇將鵝肝從菜單中剔除。

    而在以法式大餐聞名世界的法國,作為一種傳統美食,法式鵝肝依然備受歡迎,在西班牙和日本其也很受消費者的追捧。從全球來看,法式鵝肝的市場規模每年可達20億美元。

    讓“人造肉制品”走入更高的美食殿堂

    Gourmey創立于2019年,作為Gourmey的聯合創始人及首席執行官,尼古拉斯?莫蘭-福雷表示,自己希望證明,實驗室制造的肉制品“不僅能夠用于制作漢堡”,還可以在“高級美食”中占據一席之地??紤]到法式鵝肝與法式大餐的緊密聯系,莫蘭-福雷選擇將其作為公司首款產品。他很清楚,隨著多地禁止生產和銷售法式鵝肝,許多頂級廚師已經開始尋找替代產品,這為“人造鵝肝”提供了現成的市場。

    市場營銷出身的莫蘭-福雷很明白,如果其初創企業能夠在實驗室中成功生產出“法式鵝肝”,那么該公司將獲得大量的免費宣傳,在法國更將一舉成名。此外,Gourmey也有望獲得頂級廚師、餐廳的認可和背書。

    根據法國法律的規定,“法式鵝肝”專指經由“填鴨喂養法”喂養出來的鴨子、鵝的肝臟制品。因此,在自己的祖國,Gourmey將無法稱其產品為“法式鵝肝”,而是將以“家禽美食”之名進行市場推廣。

    Gourmey是全球20多家試圖不使用動物、單純利用動物蛋白生產各種食品的初創企業之一。其他此類企業還有總部位于加州的行業先鋒——Upside Foods、同樣位于加州的Mission Barns、以色列的Aleph Farms和中國的先鋒肉類(Avant Meats)等等。這種技術為“零殘忍”小牛肉等食品的出現提供了可能,甚至“人造猶太培根”或許有朝一日都有可能出現在我們的餐桌之上。

    并非只有動物權利主義者希望人類停止通過養殖動物生產蛋白質,許多關心氣候變化的人士也持有相同觀點。牲畜是溫室氣體的重要排放來源,不僅奶??梢灾苯优欧偶淄?,為提供放牧所需的牧場、種植飼料作物所需的農場,許多原本能夠捕獲二氧化碳的樹木和森林也都遭到了砍伐和焚毀。不僅如此,學界普遍認為,使用抗生素治療家畜疾病是出現“超級細菌”的主要原因之一。

    美味的價格

    莫蘭-福雷指出,選擇售價相對高昂的“法式鵝肝”切入市場并非Gourmey偶然為之,而是經過戰略考量的結果。(由于“人造肉”成本較高),選擇法式鵝肝可以讓該公司的產品獲得一定的價格競爭力,讓該公司更有機會在相當的價位與農場生產出的產品同臺競技。對于其他以大眾食品(例如Upside Foods率先推出的漢堡包、雞胸肉產品和初創企業Eat Just發明的雞塊產品)為目標的“人造肉”而言,價格競爭力不足正是其潛在的致命弱點。消費者雖然從道德上會對人造蛋白質產品表示支持,但在高昂的售價面前也難免會打退堂鼓。

    Gourmey計劃先使用與法式鵝肝“系出同源”的鴨子、雞或火雞蛋干細胞生產其他禽類制品,然后在此基礎之上最終打造一條覆蓋全品類的“人造肉”產品線。

    7月14日,正值法國國慶日假期之際,Gourmey宣布已經從Point Nine、Air Street Capital、Heartcore、Partech、Big Idea Ventures、Eutopia Ventures、Ataraxia和Beyond Investing等風投公司獲得了1000萬美元的額外風投資金。

    莫蘭-福雷稱,公司計劃使用這筆資金對其法式鵝肝產品進行優化,并將在巴黎市中心建設生產設施,開始批量生產。他說:“我們希望通過行動表明,肉制品能夠在城市中心,也就是其消費市場進行生產?!盙ourmey還計劃雇傭更多的食品工程師和生物學家,將員工數量從20人增加到至少30人。

    要想銷售自家產品,該公司需要通過多國審批,而其中許多地方甚至尚未制訂有關“人造肉”的認證標準。莫蘭-福雷表示,Gourmey將首先尋求在美國獲批上市銷售,然后將把目標放在對法式鵝肝等美食需求日益飆升的亞洲國家(新加坡已經批準Eat Just的人造雞肉上市銷售),最后是歐盟國家。他希望從2022年年底或2023年年初開始,該公司的產品可以通過世界各地的優質食品經銷商和餐廳行銷全球。

    在實驗室打造細膩口感

    與莫蘭-福雷共同創建該公司的維克托?薩尤和安托萬?達維多夫(Antoine Davydoff)分別是分子生物學家和細胞生物學家,通過從鴨蛋中提取的干細胞制造法式鵝肝就是他們的想法。立項之初,他們就很清楚,打造法式鵝肝那種細膩、綿密的口感和風味絕非易事,只是他們也沒有料到難度竟然如此之大。

    莫蘭-福雷稱:“產品研發過程異常艱難?!惫颈仨毰宄凇疤铠喪健蔽桂B的過程中,鵝肝、鴨肝在分子層面發生了怎樣的變化。他說:“由于積累的脂肪過多,肝臟細胞瀕臨崩裂?!?/p>

    雖然Gourmey能夠通過研究農場主飼養鴨子和鵝時所使用的玉米和大豆來了解其蛋白質、脂質成分,進而設計、制造與之相匹配的成分來飼養肝細胞,但這只可以部分復制相關過程,不能獲得與農場生產的鵝肝相當的風味和質地。

    因此,該公司只得對法式鵝肝中的所有化合物進行仔細分析,確定影響其口味、外觀和質感的化合物究竟是哪些,然后再嘗試利用植物油進行復制,并與實驗室培養的肝細胞進行結合。莫蘭-福雷表示:“從最開始到我們找到滿意的原型版本,一共做了差不多600到650種化合物交互作用實驗?!?/p>

    那么他們的產品怎么樣呢?就Gourmey送給我的試吃樣品來看,其外觀有些奇怪:肉餅呈冰球大小,淺棕色,肉餅的餅身有一層黃色脂肪,不過味道卻與真品一般無二。至少就我的品味而言,這塊粉褐色鵝肝的味道、質地與農場生產的鵝肝并無差別,味道也確實不錯。

    莫蘭-福雷指出,在研發出法式鵝肝之后,Gourmey的下一個目標將是鴨胸肉,隨后可能進入雞柳市場。等著吃“人造雞翅全家桶”的消費者可能還要再耐心等等了。(財富中文網)

    譯者:梁宇

    審校:夏林

    Foie gras without the guilt.

    That’s the promise of a Paris-based startup called Gourmey that has perfected the science and art of creating lab-grown duck and goose liver. Think Memphis Meats (now called Upside Foods) for the Michelin-star set.

    On July 14, Gourmey announced it has raised $10 million in additional venture funding.

    Foie gras, which is made from duck or goose liver, has long been public enemy No. 1 among those concerned about the animal cruelty inherent in the human food chain. That’s because, to prod the birds’ bodies into growing extremely large and fatty livers, farmers alternately starve and then force-feed the animals, including inserting a tube down their throats, in the final weeks before they are slaughtered.

    Production of foie gras has been outlawed in 17 countries, including the U.K., which is also considering prohibiting foie gras from being imported from France. In the U.S., California passed a ban in 2004 on producing the rich, creamy paté in the state (the ban, which went into effect in 2012, has been in and out of court since). And the delicacy is poised to become illegal in New York City starting next year. Many top chefs have also voluntarily opted to remove foie gras from their menus on ethical grounds.

    But the product remains very popular in France, where it is closely associated with the country’s world-renowned culinary tradition, as well as in Spain and Japan. Globally, the sale of foie gras is a $2 billion per year industry.

    Going beyond burgers

    The fact that foie gras is so closely associated with France’s haute cuisine is one of the reasons Gourmey’s founders wanted to take it on as their first product after the company was launched in 2019. Nicolas Morin-Forest, Gourmey’s cofounder and CEO, says he wanted to prove that lab-grown meat could “go beyond burgers” and play a role in “gastronomy.” He also knew that the ban on the production or sale of foie gras in many places created a ready market, with many top chefs actively looking for an alternative.

    Morin-Forest, who has a background in marketing, also knew that if his startup managed to create lab-cultured foie gras, it could garner a lot of free publicity, especially in France, and the company would be able to count on the endorsement of top chefs and restaurants.

    Of course, Gourmey can’t actually call its product “foie gras” in France. That appellation is reserved, by law, for the substance produced from the livers of force-fed geese. So in the startup’s native land, it will market the product as simply a “poultry delicacy.”

    Gourmey is one of about two dozen young companies around the world seeking to grow various kinds of food using animal proteins, but without the animals. Alongside Upside Foods, the California-based pioneer in the industry, are companies like Mission Barns, also in California, Aleph Farms, in Israel, and Avant Meats, in China. The technology opens avenues for foods such as cruelty-free veal and even, just maybe, kosher bacon.

    And it’s not just those who care about the ethical treatment of animals who are eager to see an end to the use of farmed animals to produce protein. So too are many people interested in combating climate change. Livestock contribute greatly to greenhouse gas production, both directly from the methane emitted by cows, and also because carbon dioxide–trapping trees and forests are cut down and burned to create land for grazing and to grow feed crops. What’s more, the antibiotics used to treat livestock are seen as a leading factor in the growth of antibiotic-resistant superbugs.

    Delicacy price point

    The fact that foie gras is a relatively expensive delicacy was part of Gourmey’s strategic calculus: It meant the company would have a better chance of creating a product that would achieve price parity—or at least be price competitive—with foie gras produced from farmed animals, Morin-Forest says. Price competitiveness is a potential Achilles’ heel for other lab-grown meats that have targeted mass-market foods, such as hamburgers and chicken breasts (which are the first markets that Upside Foods is tackling) or chicken nuggets (which startup Eat Just created), as consumers are likely to balk at paying a hefty premium, despite the ethical arguments in favor of lab-grown protein.

    Gourmey plans to eventually produce a full range of lab-grown meats, starting with other poultry products that can be produced using the same stem cell lines, harvested from duck, chicken, or turkey eggs, as the foie gras.

    On Juky 14, just in time for France’s Bastille Day holiday, the startup announced that it has received $10 million in additional funding from a group of venture capital firms that include Point Nine, Air Street Capital, Heartcore, Partech, Big Idea Ventures, Eutopia Ventures, Ataraxia, and Beyond Investing.

    Morin-Forest says the company plans to use the money to perfect its foie gras and build a production facility in central Paris to begin producing it in larger quantities. “We want to show that meat can be produced in the heart of the cities where it is consumed,” he says. “We want a very short path from ‘cell-cultivator to fork.’” Gourmey also plans to hire more food engineers and biologists, expanding its workforce from about 20 to at least 30.

    To sell its product, the company will need regulatory approval in various countries around the world, and many of those places have yet to establish protocols for certifying lab-grown meat. Morin-Forest says Gourmey will seek approval to sell in the U.S. first, followed by Asia, where demand for delicacies like foie gras is soaring and where Singapore has already approved the sale of Eat Just's lab-grown chicken, and finally the European Union. He hopes to deliver the product through fine-food distributors and restaurants worldwide starting in late 2022 or early 2023.

    Creating creamy texture in a lab

    Morin-Forest’s cofounders, Victor Sayous, a molecular biologist, and Antoine Davydoff, a cell biologist, surmised foie gras could be created from poultry stem cells harvested from duck eggs. But they knew it would be difficult to match the delicate flavor and creamy texture of foie gras. Just how difficult, even they underestimated.

    “It was an exceptionally hard process,” Morin-Forest says. The company had to figure out what was happening molecularly in the livers of the birds when they are being force-fed. “The liver cells are almost exploding because they have to accumulate so much lipids,” he says.

    While the startup can replicate some of this in the way it grows its liver cells in the lab by feeding the cells proteins and lipids designed to match those found in the corn and soy that farmers feed their ducks and geese, that alone was not enough to match the flavor and texture of farmed foie gras.

    So the startup then had to do careful analysis of all the compounds present in foie gras to figure out exactly which ones were responsible for which aspects of the product’s taste, look, and feel, and then try to replicate those with plant-based oils and fats, which it combines with the lab-cultured liver cells. “It took about 600 to 650 different compound interactions from the start until we found a satisfying prototype version,” Morin-Forest says.

    How did they do? A sample that Gourmey sent me to try looked a bit funny—a round patty about the size of a hockey puck, light brown in color and topped with a layer of yellow fat—but it smelled and tasted just like the real McCoy. The flavor and texture of the pinkish-taupe liver paté was, to my palate at least, indistinguishable from the farm-produced stuff and, well, delicious.

    Having figured out foie gras, Gourmey’s next target, Morin-Forest says, is duck magret. It then might move down-market into chicken fillets. Those waiting for the lab-grown bucket of wings, however, may have to be patient.

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