Hamburgers and chicken pieces were the first products that sought to replace the use of meat with vegetable preparations that emulate the texture and taste of meat.
Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat are just some of the companies interested in exploiting this formula created in response to the problems generated by the meat industry in large-scale production.
Some initiatives seek to develop a laboratory meat, a method that is proposed as a superior alternative to the meat production process without the need to raise and sacrifice animals. In this way, researchers from the
John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard managed to develop rabbit and cow muscles in an edible jelly structure that simulates the texture and consistency of meat.
Unlike the Impossible Foods or Beyond Meat initiatives, this laboratory meat sought to emulate the real appearance of a steak, unlike ground beef from hamburgers or nuggets. It also differs from cultured meat, another
Chronic laboratory product announced in 2013.
The project began with the evaluation of the regenerative medicine process applied to the production of synthetic foods. "With the use of healthy cells combined with the corresponding structure, the development of artificial meat has the same rules and objectives: human health," said Kit Parker, one of the study's authors.
The biggest challenge was in the development of thin and long fibers that are part of the animal skeletal muscle, a distinctive feature of beef, pork or poultry. For this they used a mechanism based on a safe edible jelly that served as a structure for the growth of the cells used to emulate muscle growth. In this case they used samples from products based on beef, pork and rabbit, combined with a system that uses centrifugal force to develop the fibers with the desired shape and size.
This prototype of laboratory meat still lacks a development time so that it can compete with the Impossible Burger, researchers of this type of bets are convinced of the virtues of this manufacturing process, which allow to create cuts and plates to measure . "With these methods you can create textures, tastes and defined nutritional profiles, something similar to the beer production process," said Luke MacQueen, a researcher at the Wyss Institute of bioinspired engineering.