A British startup has produced another milestone in the strange science of lab-grown meat: the first-ever farmed steak fillet.
The landmark was laid by 3D Bio-Tissues (3DBT), a biotech company based in Newcastle. Founded in 2019, the company grew human corneas for the visually impaired before applying its techniques to meat.
3DBT has good reasons for the move. CE Delft, an independent research company, appreciates that Cultured meat could cause 92% less global warming and 93% less air pollution while using 95% less land and 78% less water.
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There is also a strong business case for the product. consulting firm McKinsey forecast The cultured meat market could reach $25 billion by 2030.
The fillet, made entirely of pig cells, was 9 cm wide, 4 cm long and 1 cm high. Credit: 3DBT
3DBT’s breakthrough fillet began life as cells extracted from pigs. The cells were then grown, divided and transformed into textured meat.
One ingredient the company didn’t use is fetal bovine serum (FBS), a common cell growth component. The liquid’s popularity has plummeted due to an outcry over its production from bovine fetuses.
Instead of FBS, 3DBT uses a patented cell enhancer called City-Mix, which adds structural integrity to the meat.
City-mixTM is a stand-alone, commercially available product. Credit: 3DBT
That’s all well and good, but the real test is in the taste. According to 3DBT, the product passed the test with flying colors.
The Steak, the company said, replicated the taste, texture and appearance of a regular pork tenderloin.
“We are absolutely delighted with the look, taste, aroma and texture of our farmed pork, which is the first time we have fully tasted our product,” said Che Connon, CEO of 3DBT, in a statement.
“Our cruelty-free fillet has exceeded our expectations in every respect and we are very excited about the technological advances we are making and the impact it could have on our industry.”
The company is now planning a presentation at a public event in London soon.
When fried, the fillet had the familiar char, crispiness, and flavors of traditional pork. Credit: 3DBT
As a vegetarian whose favorite childhood food was steak, the fillet is another challenge to my (extremely easy) morale. Of course, I asked for a taste of the lab-grown delicacy.
We will let you know if my application has been approved. In the meantime, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the latest cell meat. Whether you’re a sinless vegetarian or a good old-fashioned killer, let us know if you’d give the usual channels a try.
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