Cultivated meat, also referred to as cultured meat, is a form of meat that is produced by growing animal cells in a laboratory setting. This method of production eliminates the need to raise and farm animals for food. The resulting product is made of the same cell types and arranged in a similar structure as conventional meat, thus replicating the sensory and nutritional characteristics of traditional meat. The first cultivated meat burger was presented in 2013 by Dutch scientist Mark Post and since then, the industry has grown to over 60 companies and attracted over $450 million in investments. These companies are working to develop technology solutions and conduct research in fields such as cell culture, stem cell biology, tissue engineering, fermentation, and chemical and bioprocess engineering to establish a new paradigm for manufacturing commodity meat products at industrial scales.
Cultivated meat is considered a promising solution to address the environmental and ethical concerns associated with conventional animal agriculture. It can potentially reduce land, water, and other resources required for farming while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and animal welfare issues. Additionally, cultivated meat could help meet the rising demand for meat globally, especially in countries with growing populations and increasing wealth.
However, several challenges still need to be addressed before cultivated meat can be produced on a large scale and made available to consumers. These include the cost of producing cultivated meat, which is currently much higher than conventional meat, as well as the development of scalable and efficient cell cultivation methods and the creation of a regulatory framework for producing and selling cultivated meat.
Despite these challenges, many experts believe that cultivated meat will play a significant role in the future of food production. Companies and research institutions are investing in this field and making progress towards commercialising cultivated meat products. It is expected that in the coming years, we will see more cultivated meat products becoming available in the market. With further research and development, the cost of producing cultivated meat will decrease and become more accessible to consumers.