Cell-cultivated meat advantages and challenges ahead

Alternative Proteins

Panagiotis Vlachogiannis

Co- Founder of Cellular Agriculture Greece, Lecturer of Cellular Agriculture

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Advantages to consider

Cell-cultivated meat has several advantages, making it an attractive alternative to conventional meat. These include:

  1. Environmental Sustainability: Cell-cultivated meat has the potential to reduce the environmental impact of meat production significantly. It requires fewer resources, emits fewer greenhouse gases, and has a lower impact on biodiversity than traditional animal farming.
  2. Lack of protein: To feed the rising population in a safe and sustainable manner, we will need to utilize a number of novels and developing protein production technologies, alongside conventional farming. With cell-cultivated meat, you can achieve higher protein yields and at the same time select ingredients with the least environmental impact.
  3. Health: Cell-cultivated meat has the potential to be a healthier alternative to traditional meat, as it can be produced without the use of antibiotics, hormones, or other additives.
  4. Food Security: Cell-cultivated meat offers a more secure food supply, as it can be produced in a controlled environment, reducing the risk of disease outbreaks and other disruptions to the food supply chain.
  5. Cornucopia of options:  While the primary focus of cell-cultivated meat research has been on producing beef, poultry, and pork, there is also interest in using the technology to produce meat from exotic or endangered species, such as rhinoceros or bluefin tuna. This offers a potential solution to the problem of unsustainable hunting or fishing practices.

Challenges ahead

Even though there are plenty of advantages, there are also several liabilities or challenges that need to be resolved before cell-cultivated meat can become a viable alternative choice alongside traditional meat. These include:

  1. Technical Challenges: Producing cell-cultivated meat requires significant technical expertise and resources. Achieving the right texture, flavor, and nutritional profile can be challenging, and the process must be scaled up to meet demand. So far, unstructured cuts of meat like nuggets and patties have successfully been created. However, creating a juicy tomahawk steak can be a few years away.
  2. Cost: The cost of producing cell-cultivated meat is still relatively high compared to traditional meat. As technology advances and production scales up, the cost is expected to decrease, but it may still be some time before it becomes affordable to consumers. Creating an ecosystem of collaborations between start-ups, investors, and corporates will successfully drive costs down.
  3. Regulatory Challenges: Cell-cultivated meat must meet the same safety standards as traditional meat and be approved by regulatory agencies such as the FDA and USDA. Additionally, consumers must be able to distinguish between cell-cultivated meat and traditional meat through clear and accurate labelling.
  4. Consumer Acceptance: Cell-cultivated meat is a relatively new concept and may not be widely accepted by consumers, particularly those concerned about alternative proteins’ safety and quality. Once the regulatory challenges will be alleviated, studies have already showcased that consumers will be more motivated to include cell-cultivated meat in their diet.

In conclusion, while cell-cultivated meat offers several advantages over traditional meat, there are also several challenges that need to be resolved before it can become a widely accepted and accessible alternative. Ongoing research and development, as well as regulatory oversight and consumer education, will be necessary to address these challenges and bring cell-cultivated meat to market.

Further reading: 

Cellular Agriculture – Cultivated Meat

Cell-cultivated meat advantages and challenges ahead

Is Cultivated Meat Healthy and can Vegans eat it?

What are the Whitespaces of Cultivated Meat and How Can Farmers Contribute?


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