Food: will cultured meats invade our plates?



Chicken fillets look more real than life; yet, they are entirely artificial. They were created from scratch in the laboratory and will be able to be marketed in restaurants in Singapore. To taste, the illusion is almost perfect. “It looks like chicken, we actually find the taste of chicken; the texture […] closer to minced meat “, commented Thomas Donzel, journalist France Télévisions in Washington (United States), during a tasting in May 2019.

The technique is also being tested in Israel with beef. The principle ? Extract a live cow muscle cell, before submerging it in a nutrient liquid. Invisible to the naked eye, the cells will grow and multiply. After two to three weeks, pieces of muscle a few centimeters in size start to form. For some scientists, they do not replicate the complexity of muscle tissue. “This muscle tissue needs nerves, blood vessels; there are also fat cells, explains Jean-Francois Hocquette, research director at INRA. We don’t think we can call what is commonly called ‘cultured meat’, ‘meat’. It’s more muscle fiber in culture. “ Positive point, however: laboratory production of meat would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 7% compared to traditional breeding.

The JT

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