Recycling Waste into Media
Repurposing plant waste into cell culture media
University of California, Davis, United States
Who: Ted O’Neill, Ph.D. student in food science and technology
When: 2019 – Present
Institutes: University of California, Davis, United States
Supervisors: David Block, professor of chemical engineering at the University of California, Davis; Keith Baar, professor of functional molecular biology at University of California, Davis; Hildegarde Heymann, professor of enology at University of California, Davis
Ted is creating a serum-free culture media by repurposing agricultural waste products. To do this, he will recreate the basic nutritional requirements cells need using inexpensive agricultural crop byproducts, such as molasses, yeast extract, and corn steep liquor. In addition, Ted will look for similarities between known plant proteins and the expensive growth factors needed in media supplements.
Ted’s approach to media development will reduce the cost of cultured meat production by replacing expensive components with cheaper sources. In addition, it will increase the net sustainability of cultured meat production by repurposing waste from other supply chains.