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Mass Flow Controllers Deliver Precise Gas Flows to Produce Cell-Cultured Meat

6/30/2022

The process of cell-cultured meat production begins by sourcing real cells from live animals, including livestock, chicken, and fish. These cells are then nurtured in bioreactors where they require accurate gas flow measurement and nutrients. Within weeks, the cell-cultured meat products are ready for the food supply chain.

food application cultured meat

A cultured meat company or end-user required an automated bioprocessing system for their production scale up. The company partnered with an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) for this system. Since the bioprocess system required accurate and repeatable multi-gas flow to cultivate the meat, the OEM reached out to Brooks Instrument for mass flow controllers.

Application Requirements

In order to grow, the cells are placed in a bioreactor where they are fed sugars, salts, vitamins, and amino acids. In addition to these nutrients, there are crucial measurements to be monitored in the bioreactor, the company must accurately control the right pH and the correct amount of dissolved oxygen (DO) needed for their recipe. To maintain control of the pH and DO, the Brooks Instrument SLA Biotech mass flow controllers measure and control nitrogen, oxygen, air and carbon dioxide to nurture cells at scale.

Highlights

  • High-turn down needed for maximum process control
  • Bubble tight shut off required to prevent O2 leakage into the reactor
  • Certificates required for compliance
  • Advanced alarms and diagnostics for predictive maintenance
  • Precise and repeatable flow of the four gases to maintain recipe control through the industry proven Brooks Instrument mass flow controllers known for stable and reliable gas flow control and measurement

Process Solution

Given the process requirements and desired features of the cultured-meat company, Brooks Instrument offered the Premium Biotech SLA with EtherNet/IP protocol. Through the EtherNet/IP protocol, the end-user can connect directly to the PLC. Since the Biotech package has many advanced alarms and diagnostics, the end-user can configure the PLC to monitor for restricted flow, backstreaming and many other adverse process conditions. For instance, if an alarm goes off due to a restricted flow upstream in the process, the technician can resolve the issue immediately preventing unnecessary waste and system maintenance thus improving overall yield.

Mass Flow Controllers Deliver Precise Gas Flows to Produce Cell Cultured Meat

Flow Scheme

Another featured advantage of the SLA Biotech Series is the enhanced valve tuning that offers bubble tight shut-off and an extended range of control, up to 250:1 turn down. This allows the OEM to reduce the number of overall MFC’s required for air or oxygen streams. Further, the end-user will benefit by having less units to maintain, which will aid in reducing the total cost of ownership.

In the cell cultured meat process, using the Brooks International SLA Biotech MFC offers many advantages for the customer to produce their product in a stable, repeatable environment with minimal downtime. In this example, the Brooks Instrument MFC meets the end-user’s and OEM’s needs at every level, solving pain points in the process overlay with increased turn-down and providing the customers peace of mind with certificates required for compliance and through the advanced alarms and diagnostics, all while minimizing the TCO for extended savings over the life of the equipment.

As the cultured-meat industry continues to grow rapidly, with its proven reputation, Brooks Instrument is ready to provide support and expert knowledge of bioreactors and critical gas flow control so end-users and OEMs can help fulfill the global food supply.


About The Author

Albert Harvey
Director of Industrial Sales

Albert (Al) is the director of industrial sales for key accounts at Brooks Instrument.

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