Veganism and vegetarianism have taken over the minds of people, worldwide, with many people turning to vegetarian foods. But those ex-meat lovers who still can't entirely give up their love for juicy, chewy non-veg foods are relying on faux meats to satiate their cravings. But, if you ask them, fake meat really does not do the trick. To bring some relief, a team of scientists has found a novel way to bring to your plate, real meat-like foods that won't make you miss the actual animal meat that filled you with the guilt of promoting animal slaughter.
Researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have come with a solution to produce lab-grown meat or cultured meat that tastes and feels like real meat. This innovation is expected to revolutionise food production, offering a greener and more ethical alternative to large-scale meat production. The results were published in the journal 'Nature - Science Of Food'.
The team of scientists produced rabbit and cow muscles cells on food-safe gelatin scaffolds that can easily provide the actual texture and consistency of meat in faux meats or lab-grown meats. This offers a chance to produce large-scale lab-grown meats, eliminating the need of slaughtering animals for the purpose.
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The team planted and grew the fibers with rabbit and cow muscle cells, which were turned into gelatin to grow in long, thin structures, resembling real meat. The team applied some mechanical processes to compare the texture of the lab-grown meat to real rabbit, beef tenderloin, bacon, prosciutto and other such meats.
"Although, we used gelatin exclusively in the present work, iRJS can produce a variety of biomolecular fibers, including polysaccharides and other plant-derived biomolecules28, which add nutritional value to edible scaffolds. These methods provide a path forward for meat analog formulation, where texture and biochemistry are first controlled by tailoring the architecture and composition of fibrillar scaffolds, and cell cultures are subsequently used to increasingly recapitulate natural meat," Kit Parker added.