Scientists figure out a way to add fat to lab-grown meat

The industry is progressing very quickly.


by Mihai Andrei, ZME Science (Romania)

November 18, 2021


A research team has simultaneously engineered both muscle tissue and fat from sampled cattle cells, an achievement that could eventually bring higher quality cultured meat to dinner tables.


As people are becoming more and more aware of the negative environmental and ethical problems associated with meat consumption, the alternative meat industry is booming. Veggie burgers have become commonplace in many places, and meat alternatives are only becoming more and more diversified. Until now, these alternatives only mimicked the properties of meat. But soon, meat alternatives could be actually meat.


Lab-grown meat, meat grown from animal cells without actually killing animals, is not only more ethical, but perhaps also more environmentally friendly, producing less CO2 emissions and using less water and soil than traditional meat productin. Since the industry is just starting out, we donít know exactly how eco-friendly it would be, but there are already reasons for optimism.


††† ďThe current process of meat production using livestock has significant effects on the global environment, including high emissions of greenhouse gases. In recent years, cultured meat has attracted attention as a way to acquire animal proteins,Ē write the authors of a new study.


Whether or not the lab-grown meat industry will succeed, though, will likely depend on two things: price and taste/texture.


The price is already looking pretty decent. Although itís not quite at the same price as regular meat, lab-grown meat has gone from $325,000 a burger in 2013 to around $10 in 2020. In Singapore, the only place that has currently regulated lab-grown meat and is selling it so far, a serving of chicken nuggets goes for $23 ó itís still expensive, but not extremely far away from parity, and as production scales and matures, cost will undoubtedly continue to go down.


Which leaves us with how the meat actually tastes...


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