Ep 145: What is “cultured meat”?

This week, we will be talking about an intriguing technology in the agriculture and food science space, cultured meat aka real meat, but made in a lab. Alex Shirazi is a startup advisor, author, and podcast host who has a deep understanding of the cell-cultured meat industry. Alex has advised many startup businesses, some of which are seeking to develop new cultured meat technologies. He has also built The Cultured Meat Symposium which is aimed at bringing together leaders in the cell-cultured meat world. Alex also co-wrote a book titled “Where do hotdogs come from?” which is a kid’s book about cellular agriculture and the future of meat production. In our interview, Alex and I will chat about his background, the processes of making cultured meats, if this technology is a replacement for normal meat or if it’s just another choice for consumers. We’ll also dive deep into how taste and texture are extremely important when developing these meats and how the meat proteins and fats are created. I went into this episode knowing very little about this technology and learn so much from Alex and I think you will too.

Cultured Meat and Future of Food Podcast

Where do hotdogs come from? – Book website

Alex on Twitter

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Show Notes:

  • Alex’s Background
  • Advising Startups
  • What is cultured meat?
  • Process of growing cultured meat from cells.
  • Growing in plant cells?
  • What is better for the environment – plant-based or cultured meats?
  • What stage is cultured meat in – Finalizing processes or improving flavor?
  • How important is texture?
  • Cultured fish meat has no “fishy taste”?
  • Different approaches from different countries.
  • What are some key breakthroughs in recent years?
  • Book – Where do Hotdogs Come From?
  • Can we one day use cultured meat in 3D food printers?
  • Should cultured meat be another choice INSTEAD of aimed at replacing animal meat?
  • Cultured Meat and Future of Food Podcast

Article from Researchgate.net

The production process of cultured meat. Source: Tuomisto (2018). This figure represents the three main stages of the production of cultured meat. First, stem cells are taken from muscle tissue or embryos and are expanded and then differentiated into muscle cells. Second, these cells are further grown in a bioreactor to increase their number. Third, the cells are then transferred to a scaffold to grow these into muscle fibres and larger tissue.

Treich, Nicolas. (2021). Cultured Meat: Promises and Challenges. Environmental and Resource Economics. 79. 1-29. 10.1007/s10640-021-00551-3.

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