Once focused on vegan burgers, alt-protein industry sets sights on grain- and cell-based chicken, steak

lab grown meat

After four years as a biomedical engineer specializing in 3D printing of tissue and organs in Barcelona, Giuseppe Scionti had a radical idea for another use for the technology: creating food.

In 2018, Scionti launched Novameat, patenting his “microextrusion” technology, in which plant-based ingredients are pushed through holes to form ultra-thin muscle-like fibers.

Once preoccupied with perfecting the mince-like patty of the plant-based burger, the alternative protein industry is now turning its attention to more ambitious products whose textures are like actual “cuts” of steak and chicken breast ….

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Companies such as Novameat are leading the charge for plant-based start-ups, whose “meats” are made from legumes and grains …. Meanwhile, some “cell-based” groups—which produce meat from animal cells grown in vats—are also at advanced stages of producing realistically textured products.

Related article:  McDonald's teams up with Beyond Meat to test plant-based burger in Canada

While consumer enthusiasm over plant-based meat continues to grow, it is still a nascent category, accounting for just 1 percent of overall US meat sales …. A recent survey of 500 Americans …. found that 40 per cent described the products as “scary” ….

Investors are undeterred, even flocking to the more ambitious cell-based meat industry …. Compared to 2016, when there were only two companies working on creating meat from cells, more than 60 startups exist today ….

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