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What is Lab Grown Meat and Will it be Affordable?

Lab grown meat is produced by taking the skeletal muscle cells from animals and growing them on three-dimensional constructs call scaffold. The scaffolds provide the foundation for cells to multiply and develop into tissues. Researchers at National University of Singapore have come up with a new scaffold that uses common plant proteins. These are biodegradable and biocompatible with animals. Crucially, plant proteins also satisfy common requirements for food consumption, making the resulting scaffold fit for culturing meat.

“By using readily available cereal prolamins as biomaterials for high-precision 3D printing technology, we open up a new method for manufacturing edible and structured scaffolds to produce cultured muscle meat slices with fibrous qualities,” said Prof Huang Dejian, Deputy Head of NUS Department of Food Science and Technology. 

Prolamins have emerged as an affordable and sustainable resource for meat culture. Currently scaffolds are made from synthetic or animal-based materials. These are costly and inedible.

The NUS innovation raises hope of making lab grown meat more affordable.  

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