Artificial meat will go on sale in a few years

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Last reviewed: 31.05.2018

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01 September 2011, 22:10

The creation of a hamburger from cow stem cells is a long and complex process, the cost of which, according to scientists, is almost 10 million rubles. But soon everything will change.

To remove the muscle stem cells from a cow or pig - the procedure is quite simple. The animal will not suffer in this case. In the laboratory, these cells are placed in a special environment and are fed by fetal serum - a plasma that remains in the blood after the formation of clots. It is not difficult to guess that it is isolated from the body of an unborn fetus.

As a result, small strips of tissue grow, which then begin to stretch daily, simulating the work of muscles and forcing the future steak to grow. Alas, because of the lack of blood and iron, this meat looks pale, not that your favorite fillet. The researchers hope that this problem will be helped by the addition of myoglobin, an iron-rich protein.

True, the staff of the Maastricht University (Netherlands), working under the leadership of Mark Post, came across another obstacle: the pig's muscle stem cells can only divide 20-30 times, and then the tissue ceases to grow. Fortunately, their colleagues and fellow countrymen from the University of Utrecht managed to show that it is possible to take other stem cells from the pork muscles - the so-called muscle progenitor cells, whose population size can increase from thousands to several billions in a few months.

Another difficulty is that the law prohibits taste of meat grown in the laboratory, because it was fed with fetal serum, and it can contain substances harmful to humans. Therefore, researchers from the University of Amsterdam (the Netherlands) are working on a synthetic substitute, based on a specific form of aquatic bacteria.

If artificial meat can be brought to perfection, an expensive process will move to the meat processing plants of the future, where the same will be done faster and cheaper. As the price of animal feed constantly grows, laboratory meat can become a competitive alternative to beef, pork and chicken in a few years. And then it will save the world.


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