Longevity

Longevity Briefs: Lab grown meat being sold for the first time

Posted on 3 December 2020

Longevity briefs provides a short summary of novel research in biology, medicine, or biotechnology that caught the attention of our researchers in Oxford, due to its potential to improve our health, wellbeing, and longevity.

Why is this research important: After overcoming the challenges of perfecting texture and reducing costs, the goal of producing cultivated meat in laboratory and supplying it to the public for general consumption is finally being realised.

The adoption of a plant-based ‘meat’ diet by the general public could have a significant positive impact on health and wellbeing, help reduce the impact of livestock farming on the environment, and has the added bonus of not having to slaughter millions of animals every year.

What did the researchers do: ‘Chicken’ bites a plant-based alternative to fried chicken, produced by the US company Eat Just, have just been granted approval by the Singapore Food Agency to be sold to the public. The cells that are needed to start off the production process were from a cell bank, therefore the slaughter of no chickens was required. The lab grown meat was created in a 1,200-litre bioreactor and combined with other plant-based ingredients to create to the finished product.

Eat Just’s ‘chicken bites’ will be initially available in a Singapore restaurant. Photograph: Hampton Creek/Eat Just

Key takeaway(s) from this research: Besides the fact that no animals were harmed in the making of them, the manufacturers have stated that scaling up the production of the ‘chicken’ bites will result in far lower carbon emissions and use much less water and land than conventional meat.

The [Eat Just] approval is a very big deal for the future of meat production globally. A new space race for the future of food is under way.

Bruce Friedrich, at the non-profit Good Food Institute in the US. Source: The Guardian

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