Japanese scientists work up an appetite for lab-grown Wagyu beef
By Rikako Murayama, Reuters
October 8, 2021
TOKYO, Oct 8 (Reuters) - Japan's famed Wagyu beef, a delicacy that can cost more than $200 a pound at some top restaurants, could become much more affordable in the form of a lab-grown replica.
Japanese scientists say they have succeeded in recreating Wagyu, renowned for its fat marbling, in a laboratory to produce something that could eventually look and taste like the real steak.
Wagyu beef comes from a breed of black cattle, most famously cultivated in the Kobe area of Western Japan.
Osaka University researchers led by Michiya Matsusaki used 3-D bioprinters and bovine stem cells to replicate Wagyu's distinctive marbling in a solid steak-like piece, rather than a minced form that has typified other attempts at cultured meat.
It currently takes about three to four weeks to generate a cubic centimetre of cultured meat, so it's not ready for the grocer's aisle just yet. But as the techniques and efficiency improve...