UK-based biotech company 3D Bio-Tissues (3DBT) announces it has successfully developed what it claims to be the “world’s first” 100% cultivated meat steak.
Although Aleph Farms likely holds the industry’s milestone for the “world’s first” cultivated steak (let us know if we’re wrong); 3DBT argues that the difference with other companies is that its fillet was grown without plant-based scaffolds making it the world’s first “100% meat” cultivated steak.
“Some other companies have produced lab-grown meat using plant-based scaffolds to facilitate the development of muscle, fat, and connective tissue. These are classified as hybrid cultivated meat products,” responded George Esmond when vegconomist enquired about the “world’s first” claim.
A moot point for the industry
Are cultivated products, grown using plant-based ingredients, to be considered hybrid products? We have covered hybrids products as a mix of plant or fungi protein with cultivated meat. As the industry evolves, we will need to clarify such evolving grey areas.
The 100 % meat, cultivated pork steak
Since its beginnings, 3DBT was poised to develop UK’s first cultivated meat. Last November, the biotech announced the successful development of a few cultivated meat prototypes using its patented serum and animal-free cell booster, City-mix, which eliminates the requirement for conventional plant-based scaffolds, blends, or fillers.
The progress on the prototypes led to the development of the 100% meat, cultivated steak — the “world first” without using plant-based scaffolds — which was grown using pork cells. According to the biotech, the steak measured 9 cm in width, 4 cm in length, and 1 cm in height, “just like a traditional pork steak.”
Dr. Che Connon, 3DBT’S CEO, commented: “City-mixTM, our serum-free media supplement in which we cultivated the fillet, is helping to greatly reduce the cost of cultivated meat such that it may become economically viable in the near future. At the same time, our ‘structure without scaffold’ technology is helping to make cultivated meat that more closely resembles traditional meat in every respect without the need for plant-based additives.”
Tasting the cultivated pork fillet
Dr. Connon, alongside 3DBT’s CSO Dr. Ricardo Gouveia, tasted the cultivated pork steak in both its raw and cooked states and, for the first time, sampled the product to test its similarity to eating conventional meat.
“In its raw state, it had the same characteristics as traditional meat … displaying fibers and a touch that showed consistency and elasticity.
“… when cooked, the fillet seared easily and showed the typical charring and crisping on its surface, while the aromas were identical to those of traditional frying pork,” said the company in its press release.
Cultivated meat and leather
Following this significant milestone, the company announced it will produce a further full-scale fillet to be showcased, cooked, and eaten by a select panel at an undisclosed upcoming event in London to demonstrate how its technology can accelerate the delivery of cultivated products to consumers and future suppliers.
The company is already looking forward to establishing partnerships with manufacturers and supermarkets interested in selling cultivated meat. Furthermore, the company says that by using its issue-templating process but with skin cells, it can develop leather for the fashion industry.
Dr. Connon added: “This is a significant scientific breakthrough which has very positive implications not just for BSF and 3DBT but also for the UK and the cultivated meat industry as a whole. We are absolutely delighted with our cultivated pork’s appearance, taste, aroma, and texture, which is the first time we have fully sampled our product. Our cruelty-free fillet has exceeded our expectations in all respects, and we are extremely excited about the technological progress we are making and the impact this could have on our industry.”
BSF, which began trading on the London Stock Exchange’s primary market last year, owns 100 percent of 3D Bio Tissue.