Food technology

New tools support cultured meat development Labmate Online

What is cultured meat?

Cultured meat, also known as synthetic, artificial, or in vitro meat, is created by harvesting animal cells which are then placed in a bioreactor and fed with nutrients to promote tissue growth. The driving force behind this rapidly expanding field of food technology is that the production of cultured meat requires far fewer animals to keep, so a switch to cultured meat would reduce the production of greenhouse gases by the livestock, as well as epidemic mitigation (which can cross the species barrier to infect humans) and welfare problems caused by industrialized farming and animal slaughter.

However, there are challenges at the scale of producing meat grown at commercial levels. These include reducing the cost of cell media and growth factors, developing the best cell lines to create high quality cultured animal tissues as well as creating appropriate extracellular matrices (ECMs) for individual cell lines to allow efficient growth of cell cultures. In addition, there is a need for bioreactors designed for the cultivation on an industrial scale of various animal cells and edible scaffolding materials in order to enable the large-scale production of structured cultured meat products.

A new range of kits, media and reagents to aid in the development of cultured meat products is available from biotechnology specialists, AMSBIO.

These products intended for research on cultivated meat are broadly divided into 3 areas. First, create the right environment and stimuli for cells in culture. Second, standards and kits to test whether these cells behave like the in vivo model and third, cryopreservation media to archive the cells for reference or future use. AMSBIO’s growing line of high-quality products for pioneering cultured meat research includes skeletal muscle differentiation kits, recombinant extracellular matrices and cryopreservation media. In addition, over the past 20 years, the company has established a large bio-repository containing DNA, RNA and animal tissues as positive controls, as well as ELISA kits for the quantification of meat proteins, such as collagen.

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