Stacking sheets of cells yields better cultivated meat, Canadian research shows

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In Canada, researchers at McMaster University have produced cultivated meat they claim has flavor and texture more like conventional, animal-based products. 

The process creates sheets of living cells that can be stacked, similar to methods used to grow tissue for human transplants, say Ravi Selvaganapathy and Alireza Shahin-Shamsabadi. The way they are stacked can enable the lab-grown product to better resemble marbling and fat.  

“We are creating slabs of meat,” Selvaganapathy tells Phys.org. “Consumers will be able to buy meat with whatever percentage of fat they like—just like they do with milk.” 

So far, they have replicated mouse meat and rabbit meat—although only the latter was cooked and sampled. “It felt and tasted just like meat,” Selvaganapathy adds. “Meat production right now is not sustainable. There has to be an alternative way of creating meat.”

The work was described in a recent issue of the journal Cells Tissues Organs, and  Selvaganapathy and Shahin-Shamsabadi have founded a start-up to develop and commercialize the process.