Two biggest hurdles holding back cultured meat

By Laurence Gibbons

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Meat Muscle

Boosting production and winning public acceptance are the biggest challenges for scientists seeking to make cultured meat more widely available, according to the scientist leading the research.

Professor Mark Post, head of the cultured beef programme at The University of Maastrict in the Netherlands, told growing volume was a real issue.

“Right now we can scale it up to much larger than last year but [still] not as large as we want it to be,”​ he said.

‘Still short’

“We want to be culturing beef in a 25,000 litre fermenter and we are now up to 5 litres – so we are still 24,995 litres short.”

Scientists use stem cells to create strips of muscle tissue that are then mixed with blood to artificially grow fat.

Watch this video to find out what reformulation of the burger scientists from The University of Maastrict are currently doing to replicate beef as closely as possible.

 “We are improving the product,”​ claimed Post. “We are adding fat tissue to it – so we are culturing fat tissue right now – and we are removing some of the growth substances needed for those cells to grow that we want to get rid of.”

Post claimed once the public understood the science behind cultured meat and saw other people try it without anything bad happening to them, it would become widely consumed.

In this video he also estimated cultured meat could be available within the next decade and revealed exactly how much the meat was likely to cost when reformulation of the product was complete.

A whopping £200,000

A prototype cultured meat burger cost a whopping £200,000 when launched last year.

Cultured meat is being developed as an alternative protein source as rapid population growth puts pressure on food supplies.

The food industry has previously been divided​ over whether or not cultured meat could be the answer to a sustainable food supply.

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