Cellular agriculture is an emerging branch of biotechnology that aims to address issues associated with the environmental impact, animal welfare and sustainability challenges of conventional animal farming for meat production. Cultured meat can be produced by applying current cell culture practices and biomanufacturing methods and utilizing mammalian cell lines and cell and gene therapy products to generate tissue or nutritional proteins for human consumption. However, significant improvements and modifications are needed for the process to be cost efficient and robust enough to be brought to production at scale for food supply. Here, we review the scientific and social challenges in transforming cultured meat into a viable commercial option, covering aspects from cell selection and medium optimization to biomaterials, tissue engineering, regulation and consumer acceptance.
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We thank J. Breemhaar for designing and drafting Fig. 2, and N. Rubio, A. Stout, J. Yuen, K. Fish, N. Xiang and A. Szklanny for their contributions. D.K. is supported by Advanced Research Projects Agency, National Institute of Health, the Good Food Institute and New Harvest. M.J.P. is supported by EU Horizon 2020, Research Council of Norway.
M.J.P. is chief scientific officer, co-founder and shareholder of Mosa Meat B.V.; P.M. is lead bioprocess engineer at Mosa Meat B.V.; S.L. is chief scientific officer, co-founder and shareholder of Aleph Farms; N.G. is chief scientific officer, co-founder and shareholder of Memphis Meats; J.F. is chief scientific officer and employee of PAN-Biotech GmbH; K.V. is lawyer and partner at AXON lawyers, a law firm that is active in the cellular agriculture space.
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Post, M.J., Levenberg, S., Kaplan, D.L. et al. Scientific, sustainability and regulatory challenges of cultured meat. Nat Food 1, 403–415 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s43016-020-0112-z
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