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Vital Meat Submits Novel Food Dossier for Cell-Based Chicken to UK Regulators

Courtesy of Vital Foods
Courtesy of Vital Foods

Vital Meat, a pioneering French company in the cultivated meat sector, has officially submitted its novel food dossier to the British Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Food Standards Scotland (FSS) for the approval of its first cell-based meat product, Vital Chicken. This submission marks a significant step forward in Vital Meat's mission to bring sustainable, high-quality cultivated meat products to the market, particularly in the UK.

The Submission Process

The submission of a novel food dossier to regulatory bodies such as the FSA and FSS is a rigorous process, involving extensive documentation and scientific evidence to demonstrate the safety, nutritional benefits, and production processes of the new food product. The dossier for Vital Chicken includes detailed information on the cell cultivation process, safety assessments, and the nutritional profile of the product.

Food safety experts and scientists in the UK play a crucial role in evaluating these dossiers. They meticulously review the data provided by Vital Meat to ensure that the product meets all necessary safety standards before it can be approved for market entry. This process involves assessing the potential risks associated with the product, such as allergenicity, toxicity, and microbiological safety, as well as its nutritional content compared to conventional chicken.

Previous Submissions and Regulatory Challenges

This is Vital Meat’s second novel food dossier submission, following a previous application to the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) at the end of last year. The company's proactive approach in seeking approvals from different regulatory bodies underscores its commitment to expanding its market reach and ensuring the safety and acceptance of its products globally.

However, Vital Meat has faced regulatory challenges in its home country of France. Soon after the submission to the SFA, the Les Républicains party introduced a bill in the National Assembly aiming to prohibit the production and marketing of cultivated meat in France. The bill also denounced the financing of Vital Meat and the cultivated foie gras company Gourmey. Despite this, no further action has been taken to date, leaving the future of cultivated meat in France uncertain.

UK Regulatory Environment and State Investment

The UK has shown a progressive stance towards novel foods and cultivated meat, seeking to position itself as a leader in food innovation. The regulator is seeking state investment to create labs for sandbox testing of novel foods, in line with a £5 million scheme announced by UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt last autumn. This initiative aims to support the development and testing of new food technologies, facilitating their entry into the market.

In January, the FSA launched a survey to gather information from manufacturers about their plans to submit applications for cultivated meat products and the technologies they may be using. This followed a 2023 Deloitte study commissioned by the FSA, which suggested that accelerating the regulation of novel foods could help the UK meet its carbon reduction goals, aiming for net zero by 2050. These efforts highlight the UK's commitment to fostering innovation while ensuring food safety and sustainability.

Expansion and Product Safety

Vital Meat’s novel product, Vital Chicken, is intended to be sold as an ingredient to food companies for use in plant-based recipes. This innovative product aims to add authentic chicken flavor, improve nutritional profiles, and reduce the number of ingredients needed in plant-based dishes. By providing a high-quality, cultivated chicken ingredient, Vital Meat seeks to enhance the appeal of plant-based foods and contribute to a more sustainable food system.

The rigorous safety standards and comprehensive evaluation process undertaken by the FSA and FSS ensure that Vital Chicken will meet the highest standards of food safety and quality. This is crucial not only for gaining regulatory approval but also for building consumer trust and acceptance of cell-based meat products.


Vital Meat’s submission of its novel food dossier for Vital Chicken to the UK regulatory bodies represents a significant milestone in the company's journey towards market expansion and innovation in the food industry. As the UK continues to support the development and regulation of novel foods, Vital Meat's cultivated chicken has the potential to play a key role in the future of sustainable and nutritious food products.

By navigating the complex regulatory landscape and leveraging state-supported initiatives, Vital Meat is well-positioned to bring its innovative products to market, offering consumers a sustainable alternative to traditional meat. The ongoing efforts to streamline novel food regulations and invest in food innovation will undoubtedly contribute to the success of companies like Vital Meat, helping to pave the way for a more sustainable and health-conscious food industry.


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