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Cell-based meat: Cultured meat alternatives are on the rise

Cell-based meat: Cultured meat alternatives are on the rise
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There has been a rise in companies producing artificially grown cell-based meat in a lab to replace standard meat when dining.

Australia’s Vow is the latest company to be developing cell-based meats, where meat products are artificially grown in a lab with no animal involvement.

The company strives to not only produce alternative plant-based meats but to also offer a “unique culinary experience” to its customers. According to its website, the company will be able to feed 10 billion people with nutritious protein, preserve the earth by reducing the need for land, all without having to harm animals.

Speaking to FoodNavigator-Asia, Vow co-founder and CEO Tim Noakesmith said: “Our sources have been so limited until now because these animals (chicken, cattle, fish, pigs and sheep) are the ones that met the domestication criteria thousands of years ago [and made their way into our food systems] — but this day and age, technology means you are no longer restricted by previous restraints.”

The company also aims to develop unconventional meats like kangaroo-based alternative meat, which contains a lot of lean muscle and is high in protein.

Cell-based meat has been a growing phenomenon since 2013, with companies trialling the alternative meats, but never going into sale.

Last month, KFC announced it was embracing cultured meat, a positive for consumer acceptance of cell-based meat. The company’s Russia location is using 3D bioprinting technology to produce chicken meat.

Businesses are also developing products to finesse and refine cultured meat, like Matrix Meats, which is developing a structural replacement for non-muscle, non-fat (extracellular) matrix in meat to prevent the cultivated meat from having a jelly-like consistency.

One main issue within the cultured meat industry is the cost due to the technology needed to produce such meats. However, the founders of Future Fields are tackling this issue by creating a growth medium for the meats at a larger scale to make it cheaper and economically viable.

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