As the world's population continues to increase, so does the demand for meat. However, the growth rate of pigs, cattle, sheep and other animals is far behind the needs of humans, and some diseases also make meat production unstable. Is it really difficult to eat meat in the future? With the development of science and technology, the emergence of artificial meat may solve this problem. There are two types of artificial meat: one is plant artificial meat, which is mainly made from soy protein; the other is animal artificial meat made from animal stem cells.
What is plant artificial meat made of
Strictly speaking, plant-based artificial meat is not real meat, but a food made of plant protein. Under normal circumstances, the main components of plant artificial meat are plant protein, pigments, stabilizers, preservatives, water, oils, and flavoring agents. Among them, the first three raw materials have the most obvious influence on the appearance, taste and nutrition of plant artificial meat. At present, a variety of minced and muscular plant-based artificial meats have been developed. The artificial meat currently available on the market is basically plant-based artificial meat.
▲ Artificial plant meatloaf
Plant artificial meat is "meat" made by imitating the shape and taste of meat. One of the reasons why people like to eat meat is because there is a special substance (heme) in meat. When this substance is heated, it will activate internal reactions to produce chemical substances. This chemical substance is the source of meat flavor, so As long as there is such a substance in plant artificial meat, the success is half. Scientists have discovered that there is this special substance in soybeans, protein is extracted from other beans, color is extracted from vegetables, and fat is extracted from nuts. Putting these substances together can make plant-based artificial meat. .
The development process of animal artificial meat
Animal artificial meat is truly derived from animals, and its production process is: first extract a small piece of meat from a living animal, and this piece of meat contains stem cells. Then this piece of muscle tissue is filtered and separated into muscle stem cells and fat cells. Next, place the required muscle stem cells in a petri dish, and put a nutrient solution in the petri dish. The nutrient solution provides the muscle stem cells with necessary nutrients, such as amino acids, vitamins, carbohydrates, etc., so that the cells feel that they are still there. In living tissues, instead of being separated out, so that cells can continue to replicate. One muscle stem cell can be cultivated into trillions of muscle cells. These cells gradually grow into viscous muscle tubules. When they increase, they will form a ribbon. At the same time, they will continue to expand and stretch to resemble meat silk. These cultivated meats are almost the same as real meat in terms of organization and structure, and can be said to be real artificial meat. And in the cultivation process of artificial meat, you can also choose which fat to let into it, making it more conducive to human health, such as adding omega-3 unsaturated fatty acids that have the effect of protecting the heart.
When people hear that the cells of animal artificial meat are differentiated from stem cells, they worry that it is genetically modified food. In fact, no genetic engineering is required to cultivate animal artificial meat, so it is not a genetically modified product, but real meat. Scientists believe that this kind of artificial meat is safe to eat, chemical additives are cultivated from natural nutrients, and viscous powder and coloring agents are strictly in accordance with food process standards. Because scientists eradicate any diseases that may occur in livestock, animal artificial meat is even safer than real animal meat.
In fact, animal artificial meat is nothing new. Someone proposed this idea as early as the end of the 20th century. It did not become a reality until 2013. The inventor was Mark Post of Maastricht University in the Netherlands. In 2013, Mark creatively invented the first artificial beef pie in the laboratory. Mark used muscle stem cells to cultivate 20,000 small muscle fibers and knead them together, and finally made a "beef patties."
Speaking of Mark's development of artificial meat, it can be described as ups and downs. As early as 2005, Mark had the idea of developing artificial animal meat, and the Dutch government provided academic funding for Mark’s whimsy. But 4 years later, Mark has not yet developed it, and the Dutch government cancelled its funding. Unwilling Mark embarked on the road of independent research and development, but, after all, biologists are not super rich, and the project has been stranded several times due to lack of money. It wasn't until 2011 that luck came again when the family foundation of Google boss Sergey Brin noticed this new project and injected follow-up research funds into Mark. Two years later, under the gaze of 200 people, Mark showed everyone his research results-a beef burger costing as much as 250,000 euros, and he was called "the first person to breed meat."
What are the advantages of artificial meat
From the current point of view, the advantages of artificial meat are relatively obvious.
traditional animal husbandry requires a lot of resources, such as an important source of feed, land, water, livestock methane is also a greenhouse gas. Compared with traditional animal husbandry, the production of artificial meat saves 87% of water resources and 96% of land resources, reduces 89% of greenhouse gas emissions, and is more conducive to the future development of the earth and mankind.
2. nutrients can effectively control the artificial meat
for the traditional meat reared it in a way that we can not effectively control the quality and nutritional content of meat, can only passively accept. The advantage of artificial meat is that it can effectively mix various nutrients, which can ensure that the produced artificial meat has a healthier nutritional composition and ratio.
3. be less slaughtered many animals
around the world over one billion animals are slaughtered to satisfy the appetites of more than 70 million people each week. Compared with traditional animal husbandry, which requires a long breeding period, artificial meat can be produced in large quantities in a short time. Once artificial meat becomes popular, humans can breed less and slaughter many animals less.
excessive intake of red meat (cattle, sheep, pork, etc.) are considered to pose health risks. According to the recommendations of nutritionists, one person should not consume too much red meat every week. In contrast, plant-based artificial meat has the advantages of being delicious, not fat, zero antibiotics, and zero cholesterol.
5. satisfy vegetarians, dieters and animal protection requirements of
global vegetarians, dieters and conservationists are many. The appearance of artificial meat is a huge boon for them. The emergence of plant-based artificial meat enables them not only to adhere to their own principles, but also to take in the necessary nutrients, and to taste the taste of meat.
What are the problems with artificial meat
Additives 1. Plant Nutrition and artificial meat
meat nutrition primarily protein and fat, protein is essential nutrients, there are 22 kinds of amino acids alone, 8 of the body is neither synthesized, required from food Obtain. But meat happens to have these 8 kinds of amino acids. Therefore, humans eat meat not only to wrap the belly and taste, but also to supplement the nutrients needed by the human body. However, the currently developed plant-based artificial meat has relatively simple nutrition compared with real meat, and cannot meet the nutritional needs of the human body. Plant artificial meat contains more additives such as pigments and flavoring agents in the production process. The safety of the use of various new additives in the production and processing cannot be ignored. It is necessary to conduct a systematic and scientific safety assessment of the new components added in the production.
2. psychological problems
even able to do a perfect taste, adequate nutrition, consumers still have to cross the psychological barrier. According to a foreign survey, 80% of people are unwilling to eat artificial meat in the laboratory, worrying about long-term hidden risks. Chinese consumers' awareness of artificial meat also needs to be improved. According to a survey data in 2019, 80.8% of the respondents said that they would not buy artificial meat mooncakes. They all want natural and pure food.
At present, the artificial meat promoted in the market is mainly plant artificial meat, and the cultivation of animal artificial meat is still in the experimental stage, and there are no animal artificial meat varieties officially on the market. So far, there are no mature conditions for the large-scale production of animal artificial meat, and there is still a long way to go.