Researchers grow meat in rice grains

About the episode

We are working hard on finding protein-rich alternatives to animal meat. Think about products made from insects or cultured meat. Korean researchers have now come up with a very special recipe: rice grains with meat grown in them.

According to the researchers, the porosity inside a grain of rice has the ideal structure for the growth of animal muscle and fat cells. Rice grains also contain substances that stimulate this growth.

The process is further enhanced by giving the rice grains a layer of fish gelatin. Muscle cells and fat cells from the cows were then transplanted into the rice grains and after about 9 to 11 days in the laboratory, the rice meat was ready.

What exactly does this achieve? Rice contains 8% more protein and 7% more fat. The idea is that this could be increased somewhat if conditions in the rice grains were modified.

Researchers believe they have developed a safe, protein-rich and affordable alternative with a much smaller fossil footprint than real animal meat.

You’ll have to judge for yourself whether it’s delicious or not, if it actually finds its way into the supermarket.

Read more about the research here: By growing animal cells in rice grains, scientists are able to produce hybrid foods

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Megan Vasquez

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