Project to focus on cultured chicken meat

January 12, 2015

The Modern Agriculture Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded in early 2014 in Israel, has launched a world-wide pioneering project in the study field of cultured meat, focused exclusively on chicken meat. Headed by Professor and tissue engineering expert Amit Gefen from Tel Aviv University, the project team will be conducting a feasibility study for the production of cultured chicken breast meat that will be published and shared with the general public. During the course of the project, the challenges of production of cultured chicken breast meat will be mapped and potential solutions, along with the implications of their realization (methodology, time, and cost), will be examined and described.

The organization’s goal is to make the field of cultured meat more open and accessible by creating an academic and funding infrastructure for every researcher and entrepreneur intending to join the field as well as provide support in the process.

Cultured meat is a type of meat produced in sterile, controlled environments using cells taken from animal bodies, in a process which results in 100% real meat. Culturing meat begins with creating a pool of cells harvested from living animals. Cells are then incubated in a serum rich with energy substrates, amino acids, and inorganic salts to support cell metabolism and growth. After just a few days a thin layer of muscle tissue can be created, identical in every way to the type of meat consumed today.

“With the growth in populations and projecting to the future, humanity needs to consider more sustainable models of food production, which will provide alternatives to the traditional ways by which we currently produce proteins from animal sources for consumption,” said Gefen. “Tissue engineering may offer such alternatives, which is what we will be exploring in this research project. We are targeting the development of a tissue-engineered chicken breast, which is a popular choice for a main course in many cultures and countries, to test feasibility of the concept and, in particular, to identify gaps in knowledge and challenges on the route to commercial production.”

Modern Agriculture Foundation