Meat Versus Cultured Tissue
We are writing regarding the article “Is the Future of Meat Animal-Free?” by Liz Specht published in the January 2018 issue of Food Technology.
Currently, research is ongoing to produce animal-sourced food without harvesting animals by culturing muscle tissue from stem cells in a liquid medium (Hocquette 2016). To be considered meat, these products must be comparable in composition and sensory characteristics to meat naturally derived from animals (Seman et al. 2018). In particular, the essential amino and fatty acid composition, macro and micro nutrient content, and processing functionality should meet or exceed those of conventional meat (Seman et al. 2018).
At this point in time, to the knowledge of the American Meat Science Association, cultured tissue, in its current form, is not reasonably comparable to meat produced from animals based on those criteria. As a result, cultured tissue is not considered nor should it be called meat.
Additionally, the suggestion that cultured tissue serves as a “clean” or more environmentally-friendly and sustainable form of animal protein is an unsubstantiated claim and pejorative in nature to conventional production of meat.
Rhonda Miller, President, and Thomas Powell, Executive Director, American Meat Science Association
Hocquette, J.-F. 2016. Is in vitro meat the solution for the future? Meat Sci. 120:167–176. doi:10.1016/j.meatsci.2016.04.036.
Seman, D.L., D.D. Boler, C.C. Carr, M.E. Dikeman, C.M. Owens, J.T. Keeton, T.D. Pringle, J.J. Sindelar, D.R. Woerner, A.S. de Mello, and T.H. Powell. 2018. Meat science lexicon. Meat Muscle Biol. doi: 10.22175/mmb2017.12.0059.