DENMARK, Copenhagen. According to scientists at the Danish Technological Institute, there are still unresolved issues regarding the mass production of artificial meat. Taste and environmental issues are also still open. A mixture of plant products and in-vitro meat could open up new consumer groups, according to industry experts.
Danish researchers do not expect in-vitro meat to gain market acceptance anytime soon. According to an analysis by the Danish Technological Institute (DTI) of current studies and the accompanying literature, many questions regarding the mass production of artificial meat are currently still open. For example, the necessary stable and efficient cell lines are not yet available; also, the culture media for a large-scale and at the same time economic application have not been sufficiently researched.
The scientists point out that it has not yet been possible to produce artificial muscle structures that are thicker than 1 mm. This means that it is not possible for the time being to produce steaks or roasts, for example, the Institute's report makes clear. At the same time, there are no approaches yet to grow fat and connective tissue at the same time, which would be crucial for natural-looking and tasting artificial meat products.
Lack of information on environmental impacts
According to the DTI scientists, there is still a lack of reliable assessments of the environmental impact of in-vitro meat production. It is often claimed that the technology saves resources. However, the scientific evidence for this is so far "limited". The technology behind meat from the Petri dish is still very immature and "it is therefore rather unlikely that artificial meat will develop into a serious alternative to conventional meat products in the near future," sums up Christian Vestergaard, DTI expert for process engineering in food technology. But if the industry can solve these problems, there is a real chance for an alternative to products from conventional meat production.
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Taste closer to the original
Meanwhile, industry experts see a combination of vegan meat substitutes and in vitro meat as a possible future for artificial meat as a regulatory-approved food. According to a recent report by foodnavigator.com
the main argument in favour of such hybrid products is their taste. According to the experts, the taste is much closer to the animal original compared to pure plant-based foods, as plant fat replaces animal fat in the product from a sensory point of view and thus enables a taste experience that comes very close to real meat. However, it is not only about the taste, but also about the appearance, the texture and the aroma, the report says. This could make such a mixed product an alternative not only for vegans and flexitarians, but also for meat eaters.
Source: fleischwirtschaft.de, AgE