In vitro cultured meat is offered as a sustainable alternative that can contribute to meeting the growing demand for proteins worldwide. Within the framework of the SMARTFARM project, a multidisciplinary team from AINIA is working to produce farmed meat efficiently and sustainably.
Cultured meat is obtained through a technological process in which animal cells are taken, often by biopsy, to grow them in a culture medium that stimulates their proliferation. These cells serve as the basis for cultured meat production. For its part, 3D bioprinting technology allows to reproduce the texture and structure of meat products.
Challenges in Farmed Meat Production
Among the key challenges the food industry must overcome before cultured meat can become a viable alternative to traditional meat on a large scale are:
- Establishment of primary cultures from animal cells, mainly cattle. This step involves extracting and obtaining the different types of cells that make up muscle tissue, including fat. These cells will serve as a basis for cultured meat production, and the method used can be applied to different species.
- Creation of three-dimensional cellular structures where cells mimic the original muscle structure. 3D bioprinting technology plays a key role in this project, allowing us to recreate the texture and structure of meat products.
- Find bovine serum substitutes commonly used for growth of isolated cells. With the aim of achieving a sustainable production of cultured meat, but guaranteeing the optimal growth and development of the cells, thus aligning the technology with animal welfare and responsible food production.
- Increasing Production: Bioreactors allow increasing the production of cultured meat in an efficient, controlled and reproducible manner.
A stable alternative
Achieving efficient and sustainable production of in vitro cultured meat will transform the food industry and contribute to a sustainable and ethical future:
- By reducing greenhouse gas emissions: The Good Food Institute estimates that using this technology can reduce climate emissions by up to 92%, reduce air pollution by up to 94% and use up to 90% less soil compared to conventional meat. Furthermore, GFI Europe promises that this new process will contribute to the creation of an industrial, scientific and technological ecosystem that will create jobs and attract investments.
- Improving animal welfare: addressing mass farming and animal slaughter, responding to ethical concerns and promoting a more sustainable food system.
- Reduce the risk of foodborne diseases: Being produced in controlled and hygienic environments, it significantly reduces the risk of foodborne diseases, thus guaranteeing safe and healthy food.
The SMARTFARM R&D project, in collaboration with companies, has received support from the Valencian Institute for Business Competitiveness (IVACE) and the European Union, through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). This line of research responds to AINIA's commitment to the sustainability and security of the food system.
Article published by Eva Sánchez on the AINIA blog
More information at https://www.ainia.es