Israeli firm is the latest to print out a "real beef" lab-grown steak
Earlier this year, we heard how two separate groups had developed the world's first lab-grown rib-eye steak and Waygu beef. Israeli startup MeaTech 3D is now joining their ranks, with a "cultivated steak" of its own.
First of all, why would anyone want to grow beef in a lab?
Well, for one thing, doing so could ultimately eliminate the need to slaughter cattle. Additionally, it would be possible to tweak meat characteristics such as fat content. And while some cows might be still be raised for the dairy and leather industries, there would be great reductions in things like the amount of land used for pastures, the use of growth hormones, and the emission of greenhouse gases in the form of cow burps and flatulence.
MeaTech 3D is now claiming that at a weight of 3.67 oz (104 g), its lab-grown steak may be the largest to have been produced by anyone so far.
The process began by isolating bovine stem cells from samples of natural beef tissue, then multiplying those cells in the lab. Once enough of the cells had been produced, they were formulated into bio-inks which were extruded by a 3D bio-printer – that printer was guided by a design file of the cellular structure of natural beef.
The bio-printed product was subsequently placed in an incubator, where the stem cells differentiated into muscle and fat cells which formed the two types of beef tissue.
There's currently no word on the texture of the steak, or on how much it would presently cost to produce on a commercial scale, both of which are ongoing limitations in the development of lab-grown meat. MeaTech 3D states that it is continuing to refine the technology, and that it is also working on lab-grown pork and chicken.
Source: MeaTech 3D