By Dan Kozlovski VP R&D, MeaTech 3D (MITC)
Cultivated meat – created from real animal cells but grown in a lab— could offer so many benefits to humanity and our planet. It may well be that cultivated meat is the most important food production advancement in our lifetime. It represents a complete revamping of what it means to “raise” meat. MeaTech 3D reached another exciting major milestone by successfully printing 3.67 oz of cultivated steak. This steak was made of real living muscle and fat tissue. As far as I’m aware, this is the largest bio-printed cell-based steak produced to date. But it’s not only the size that makes this achievement so special.
Firstly, our goal at MeaTech is to develop a true replacement for conventional steak that maximizes cell-based content rather than non-meat ingredients. The MeaTech 3.67 oz steak does not contain any soy or pea protein typically used in plant-based alternatives. It is comprised of real, living, cultivated muscle and fat cells.
Secondly, it’s the largest bioprinted steak made from real muscle and fat cells. This achievement was made possible thanks to MeaTech’s proprietary advanced 3D bioprinting technology. The process starts by isolating bovine stem cells and multiplying those cells. Once we have enough cells, we formulate them into bio-inks and load them into MeaTech’s state of the art 3D bioprinter. We digitally 3D print the cell inks, where once printed the stems cells differentiate into muscle and fat cells that then give rise to muscle and fat tissue.
Each step of the cultivated steak process was developed and optimized in-house, from unique and functional bio-ink formulation to proprietary cell differentiation protocols of the stem cells to patented printing techniques.
Producing a cultivated steak of this size represents an important milestone in the evolution of cultured meat technology. It truly represents a breakthrough in our cultivated meat science capabilities. MeaTech’s steak is unique in its thickness. We believe we moved cultivated meat production forward by demonstrating our ability to bio-print a thicker piece of meat that more closely resembles what consumers look for in their steak. It’s an achievement worth celebrating.
Each milestone and achievement made by MeaTech 3D and the cultured meat industry as a whole, brings us closer to the day we can purchase premium, center-of-plate cultivated meat products that don’t require animal suffering. After all, who can feel bad about ethically harvested stem cells for meat production? Especially when cultured meat is being developed to look, taste, smell and feel just like the farmed variety, just with the added environmental and food safety benefits.
The next generation for meat production is upon us. Are you in?