Scientists at the University of Bath have grown animal cells on blades of grass, in a step towards cultured meat. If the process can be reproduced on an industrial scale, meat lovers might one day be tucking into a slaughter-free supply of “bacon.”
The researchers say the UK can move the field forward through its expertise in medicine and engineering. Lab-based meat products are not yet on sale, though a US company, Just, has said its chicken nuggets, grown from cells taken from the feather of chicken that is still alive, will soon be in a few restaurants.
“The idea was to essentially, rather than feeding a cow grass and then us eating the meat – why don’t we, in quotation marks, ‘feed our cells grass’,” says Scott Allan, a postgraduate student in chemical engineering. “We use it as a scaffold for them to grow on – and we then have an edible scaffold that can be incorporated into the final product.”
The end product would be pure muscle tissue – basically, lean mince, rather than something with the taste and texture of a chop or steak, which means adding fat cells and connective cells to give it “a bit more taste.”
Read full, original article: Artificial meat: UK scientists growing ‘bacon’ in labs