Soy approach for cell-based meat

Thursday, 14 May, 2020

Soy approach for cell-based meat

Forecasts predict that global sales of vegan meat products could reach US$120bn in five years, despite the COVID-19 crisis. It is therefore encouraging to know that scientists may have developed a more affordable and sustainable cell-based meat.

As published in Nature Food, scientists demonstrated the use of an inexpensive textured soy protein (TSP) scaffolding to grow a meat-like prototype.

Cell-based meat is typically grown on a hydrogel scaffold that is edible and has suitable nutritional value and texture but can be expensive. However, the edible porous protein-based biomaterial TSP is inexpensive as it is a readily available byproduct of soybean oil processing.

Scientists showed that the TSP can support cell attachment and proliferation to create a 3D-engineered bovine muscle tissue. The resulting meat products were then fried and baked; volunteer taste testers reported that the cooked samples had a typical meaty flavour and texture.

This soy scaffold approach would represent a step forward for the applied mass production of cell-based meat as a food product.

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