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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Progress in Producing Vat Grown Meat


By generating strips of meat from stem cells researchers believe they can create a product that is identical to a real burger.

The process of culturing the artificial meat in the lab is so laborious that the finished product, expected to arrive in eight months' time, will cost about £220,000 (EUR250,000).

But researchers expect that after producing their first patty they will be able to scale up the process to create affordable artificial meat products.

Mass-producing beef, pork, chicken and lamb in the lab could satisfy the growing global demand for meat - forecast to double within the next 40 years - and dramatically reduce the harm that farming does to the environment.

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To produce the meat, stem cells are placed in a broth containing vital nutrients and serum from a cow foetus which allow them to grow into muscle cells and multiply up to 30 times.

The strips of meat begin contracting like real muscle cells, and are attached to velcro and stretched to boost this process and keep them supple.

At the moment the method produces meat with realistic fibres and a pinkish-yellow tinge, but Prof Post expects to produce more authentically coloured strips in the near future.

He forecast that, with the right funding and regulatory approval, his method could be scaled up to industrial proportions within as little as ten years.

But creating different cuts, such as steaks, would be more problematic because to grow thicker strips of meat would require an artificial blood supply, he added.
Rest assured, PETA and its ilk will still complain about it.

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