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Cultured Meat- the world’s appetite for synthetic meat

Cultured meat-

Cultured meat is a lump of meat manufactured by in vitro cell cultures of animal cells. It is a form of cellular agriculture. Cultured meat is developed using tissue engineering techniques traditionally utilized in regenerative medicines. The concept of cultured meat was popularized by Jason Matheny in the early 2000s after he co-authored a paper on cultured meat production and produced New Harvest, the world’s first non-profit organization dedicated to in-vitro meat research.

Cultured meat multiplies in vitro from animal cells has the potential to inscription several of the environmental, ethical, and public health issues related to conventional meat production. Nevertheless, as well as reducing technical challenges to manufacturing cultured meat, producers and promoters of the technology must consider a range of social issues, including consumer appeal and acceptance, regulation, media coverage, religious status, and potential economic effects. Our current meat manufacturing system is resource-intensive, has poor environmental impacts, need animal suffering, and is connected to different public health problems, including animal-transmitted pandemics and antibiotic resistance.

How is grown meat made?

The manufacturing process begins with obtaining and storing stem cells from animals. These cells are then grown to high density and volume in a bioreactor (colloquially known as an incubator). Similar to what happens in the body of animals, cells are fed an oxygen-rich cell culture medium composed of basic nutrients such as amino acids, glucose, vitamins, and mineral salts supplemented with proteins and other growth factors.

Changes in media composition, often accompanied by signals from scaffolding structures, trigger the differentiation of immature cells into the skeletal muscle, adipose, and connective tissues that make up the meat. The differentiated cells are then harvested, prepared, and packaged into the final product. This process is expected to take 2-8 weeks depending on what type of meat you are growing. Some companies are pursuing a similar strategy to make milk and other dairy products.

The major players covered in the Cultured Meat market are:

  • Memphis Meats (USA)
  • MosaMeat (Netherlands)
  • Super Meat (Israel)
  • Just Inc (USA)
  • Integrated culture (Japan)
  • Aleph Farms Ltd (Israel)
  • Finless Foods Inc. (USA)
  • Avant Meats Company Limited (China)
  • Ballet Food (USA)
  • Future Meat Technologies Ltd (Israel)

What are the benefits of grown meat?

Due to the nature of the more efficient production process, cultivated meat is expected to have various advantages over traditional livestock farming. Prospective life cycle assessments indicate that cultivated meat will use much less land and water, emit fewer greenhouse gases, and reduce agriculture-related pollution and eutrophication.

According to a 2020 publication from Nature Food, commercial production is expected to be completely free of antibiotics and the risk of exposure to enteric pathogens is expected to reduce the incidence of food-borne diseases.

Over the next few decades, cultivated meat and other alternative proteins are expected to account for a significant market share in the $1.7 trillion traditional meat and seafood industry. These changes will mitigate agricultural-related deforestation, biodiversity loss, antibiotic resistance, zoonotic outbreaks, and industrialized animal slaughter.

Reasons why cultured meat will be better

  • Zero Animal Cruelty

    – Of the 70 billion animals farmed annually around the world, approximately 50 billion of them are factory farmed. These animals are treated more like cogs in a machine, than living, breathing, feeling animals. They endure short, miserable lives and are often crammed together in cages, crates or pens where they are unable to engage in natural behaviour. Many animals are even selectively bred to be fast growing; lameness, weakened or broken bones, infections and organ failure are all common place. Clean meat has the potential to end the suffering of billions of farm animals every year.

  • No bacterial contamination-

    Many nasty foodborne such as salmonella and E. coli live in animals’ intestines and are spread through their faeces. The process of slaughtering animals and preparing meat can lead to contamination. E. coli infections can cause severe stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhoea. As clean meat won’t produce faeces, people will be able to eat cruelty-free hamburgers, without worrying about bacterial infections.

  • Global hunger could be reduced

    Today, almost 11% of the planet’s 7.5 billion people suffer from undernourishment of which 821 million suffer from chronic hunger. If we can’t feed everyone now, it’s vital that we take drastic action. Clean meat requires 99 per cent less land and five times less water. Clean meat could allow many more people across the globe to access high quality meat at a sustainably lower environmental cost.

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The FAO has concluded that 70% more food will be needed to meet the growing demand for food in 2050 due to population growth. In this article, livestock systems will become an important component in addressing global food and nutritional security. However, more efficient protein production methods are being developed to support the growing world population to avoid criticism from the livestock industry for environmental and animal welfare issues.

Conquering even a fraction of the world’s meat demand is a huge opportunity for growing meat companies. Doing so will require the significant deployment of a strong ecosystem to support scientific progress, infrastructure development, investment, and, crucially, the growth of the industry. In that respect, 2020 was a distinctive year for the meat processing sector. The industry has made remarkable strides in scale-up technology to denitrify industries through joint ventures.

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