Lab-Grown Beef Rice

Lab-Grown Beef Rice

Author: ChemistryViews

Hybrid foods, or foods made from a combination of plant and animal ingredients, have great potential to become the sensible foods of the future. Sangmin Lee, Chung-Ang University, Seoul, Republic of Korea, Jinkee Hong, Seoul, Republic of Korea, and colleagues have developed cultured beef rice, rice grains with animal muscle and fat cells inside.

The researchers used rice grains as a solid scaffold to house the animal-derived cells. After coating the rice grains with fish gelatin and enzymes, bovine muscle and fat stem cells were seeded into the rice and allowed to grow in a petri dish for nine to eleven days. The result was a pink-white grain.

The edible coating of fish gelatin and food enzymes provides a high affinity between the rice grains and the bovine cells and improves the structural stability of the grains for increased cell capacity. According to the researchers, the cultured beef rice had 8 % more protein and 7 % more fat than regular rice. Once commercialized, cultured beef rice could reduce the carbon footprint at a lower price, they say.

Beef rice is one of several attempts to modify rice with the goal of adding more nutrients to people’s diets. But, so far, lab-grown meat relies on bovine serum, the blood of a cow, as a growth supplement. This raises environmental and animal cruelty concerns, and it is expensive.



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