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What is Clean Meat?

It sounds like science fiction, but it’s not fiction at all. Clean meat may be on your future dining table. Clean meat is also referred to as lab-grown, in vitro, or cultured meat. Instead of getting meat from an animal, it comes from cell culture.

With the growing concern of a population increase and less access to agricultural land, clean meat may become a reality. The term “clean” refers to the sanitary closed system used to produce the product and to ease the minds of consumers who oppose animal slaughter.

The current product looks like ground meat, but has no fat. The goal is to develop a product that mimics whole meat cuts. It begins with a needle biopsy of starter cells from an animal and are grown in vitro. This could be satellite stem cells that only develop into skeletal muscle cells. The cells are placed on culture medium and then placed into a bioreactor to grow.

Many questions are being asked, and answers are yet to be given, including if consumers will eat clean meat, safety, and cost.


Is the Future of Meat Animal-Free?, Food Technology, Jan. 2018



About Karen Blakeslee

The Rapid Response Center was formed in 1995 as a resource for Kansas State University Research & Extension Agents. Resource topics included Food Science, Human Nutrition, Food Service, Textiles, Home Care and other consumer topics. Since that time, the Center has grown to be of valuable assistance to Kansas State University Extension Specialists in those areas.

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