Cultured Meat

Cultured meat is meat produced by in vitro cultivation of animal cells, instead of from slaughtered animals. It is a form of cellular agriculture. Cultured meat is produced using many of the same tissue engineering techniques traditionally used in regenerative medicine. The concept of cultured meat was popularized by Jason Matheny in the early 2000s after co-authoring a seminal paper on cultured meat production and creating New Harvest, the world’s first non-profit organization dedicated to supporting in vitro meat research.

The objective of this process is to recreate the complex structure of livestock muscles with a few cells. A biopsy is taken from a live animal. This piece of muscle will be cut to liberate the stem cells, which have the ability to proliferate but can also transform themselves into different types of cells, such as muscle cells and fat cells.

The cells will start to divide after they are cultured in an appropriate culture medium, which will provide nutrients, hormones, and growth factors. The best medium is known to contain fetal bovine serum (FBS), a serum made from the blood of a dead calf, which is going to be rate-limiting, and not acceptable for vegetarians nor vegans. More than one trillion cells can be grown, and these cells naturally merge to form myotubes which are no longer than 0.3 mm; the myotubes are then placed in a ring growing into a small piece of muscle tissue as described in different reviews. This piece of muscle can multiply up to more than a trillion strands. These fibers are attached to a sponge-like scaffold that floods the fibers with nutrients and mechanically stretches them, “exercising” the muscle cells to increase their size and protein content.

Based on this process, fewer animals will be necessary to produce huge amounts of meat due to cell proliferation, thereby avoiding killing too many animals but potentially lots of calves if FBS is still used.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *