Learn more about cultured meat at Aarhus University's online seminar
There is an increasing degree of research into meat produced in laboratories. The research also takes place at Aarhus University, which leads the Nordic network ”Cultured meat - Nordic take”, and now invites you to a two-day workshop. Here, researchers will inform the industry about cultured meat and how companies can participate in the work.
In recent years, there is an increase in the consumption of meat, for example in Southeast Asia, where demand is expected to double. This places new demands on the sustainable food production of the future, and cultured meat is one of the areas that researchers are looking at to find alternatives to traditionally produced protein sources.
Cultured meat is also referred to as in vitro meat and lab-grown meat. The meat is cultured in bioreactors, and is based on cells taken from animals.
Aarhus University conducts research in cultured meat, and Jette Feveile Young, Associate Professor at the Department of Food Science, has taken the initiative to the Nordic Network "Cultured Meat-Nordic Take". The network consists of food scientists and companies and aims to initiate the development of cultured meat based on sustainable Nordic ingredients.
Invites companies to participate in the development
The network now invites stakeholders, especially in the food industry, for a two-day workshop. This takes place online on the 12th and 13th of April, and the registration is open.
Companies can play an important role in the development of cultured meat, because they can deliver some of the many components required in the production.
- It is important that the industry participates in the workshop, because we expect that companies will be able to find relevant business potentials when they are introduced to the concept and the development areas, says Jette Feveile Young.
The first step in the production of cultured meat is to isolate muscle stem cells from the animal. The stem cells need a growth medium, a kind of soup, to multiply and a scaffold where the cells can attach themselves. The medium and the scaffold can be supplied by many different companies. Both producers of pea protein, potato protein and green alga can play a role, and the same applies to the meat industry, which can supply both the ingredients for the medium and the scaffold from slaughterhouse waste. In addition, the pharmaceutical industry can contribute in relation to food grade growth factors. Growth factors are proteins, which stimulate the growth of the cells.
- According to their competencies, the companies can act as support industry - delivering ingredients and side streams from other food productions for the growth medium such as growth factors, protein and fat. This may also include the development of suitable fermentation tanks, says Jette Feveile Young.
Aim to produce Nordic cultured meat
One of the network's goals is that it is not only foreign companies that will run the development opportunities for cultured meat, but also that Danish and Nordic companies want to help develop the concept.
- If companies are involved in the development of concepts they will be better able to present their potential to the producers who will initiate the production of cultured meat on a large scale, says Jette Feveile Young.
Positive potential for the climate
Preliminary analyses show that the energy and resource consumption of cultured meat is expected to be a fraction of that form traditional production, but it depends on the current type of production and must be calculated concurrently. The production method also makes it possible to "design" meat with a better nutritional composition, and implies less health risks in the production.
The two-day online workshop will cover topics such as technology, legislation, life cycle assessment, consumers and political aspects.
- I hope that the workshop can demystify the concept of cultured meat, and that there will be a good dialogue between the participants. I also hope that the debate will give cause for discussions in the industry afterwards, says Jette Feveile Young.
See the entire programme for the workshop on cultured meat here.
For further information
Jette Feveile Young, associate professor, AU FOOD-Department of Food Science, Aarhus University
Tel.: +45 2230 7518