“Cows don’t have any of the genes for producing beta carotene,” explains lead author on the new study, Andrew Stout. “We engineered cow muscle cells to produce this and other phytonutrients, which in turn allows us to impart those nutritional benefits directly onto a cultured meat product in a way that is likely infeasible through animal transgenics and conventional meat production.”
A burger patty that gets its start in a petri dish instead of in a slaughterhouse may still seem to be the stuff of science fiction. But with industry insiders suggesting lab-grown meat will be a consumer reality sooner rather than later, advocates say Alberta has the chance to be a part of a new industry with major disruption potential.
Taking an alternative lab-based approach is Ness Ziona-based MeaTech, which is coupling expertise in the field of tissue engineering and 3D printing technology. While still some years from hitting supermarket shelves, the ambitious start-up is developing a system to print real meat and will produce its first samples later this year.
The Ochakov Food Ingredients Plant (OKPI) produced a 40-gram “meatloaf” after three experiments carried out over two years, the Moscow-based lab said in a press release cited by Interfax.“From our point of view, laboratory meat production has the highest ethical significance for modern society, since we can avoid the slaughter of living creatures to obtain meat for food,” Nikolai Shimanovsky, a molecular pharmacologist and the project’s curator, said in the press release.The meat, which was grown using the muscle tissue of an Aberdeen Angus calf, cost 900,000 rubles ($14,000) to produce, the lab said.