If you enjoy going to the grocery store to buy your weekly meat, don’t get used to it. Soon, you’ll be able to print your own meat from the comfort of your home.
US start-up Modern Meadow believes it can do just that – by making artificial raw meat using a 3D bioprinter. In 2013, Peter Thiel, Paypal co-founder and early Facebook investor, backed the company with $350,000.
Today, the US company is collaborating with chefs to perfect the taste of their meat.
They’ve certainly come a long way since last year, as they’re also considering producing synthetic blood for those who enjoy the rawness in their meats. Andras and Gabor Forgacs at Modern Meadow explain the process of the technology to ‘grow’ meat.
Firstly, stem cells are sourced from a biopsy of a live donor animal. The necessary cells are then separated and placed in a cell culture made of amino acids, vitamins, salts, minerals and sugars. The cells taken from the initial biopsy will then replicate from the millions into the billions, forming sheets of cells. Some can turn into other specialized cells. Basically, instead of using traditional ink or plastic, the 3D printer contains bioink made of thousands of live cells.
Through electrical or mechanical stimulation, the newly printed meat will be exercised, while nutrients are injected to the muscles and fats to provide the texture and consistency of the meat.
In addition to the advantages of disease prevention and not having to kill animals, the process of printing meat requires 99% less land, 96% less water, and emitts 96% less greenhouse gases.
But don’t expect to have this technology by tomorrow. As many great inventions start, the technology will be marketed as a luxury item with low volume quantities. Forgacs expects to take it commercial around $200/kg, competing with products such as Kobe beef ($500/kg).
Source: Daily Mail