A team of bioengineers from the University of Science under the Vietnam National University Ho Chi Minh City has been carrying out the very first steps of researching the growing of meat in a lab for two years.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tran Le Bao Ha, head of the laboratory of tissue engineering and biomedical materials at the university, announced the project at a conference last Friday.
The research team biopsied a piece of beef and put it in the lab for culture.
Initially, the team formed a stand using 3D bioprinting technology, recreating the toughness of the piece of beef.
“However, this is only a preliminary step, very primitive,” said Dr. Ha.
“Researching into bioengineered meat must go through many more steps and cost a lot of money."
The bioengineer added that whether Vietnamese consumers accept cultured meat or not is also a concern for the future of the research.
Cultured meat, also known as lab-grown meat or cell-based meat and many other names, is meat produced by culturing animal cells in vitro.
Cultured meat has the potential to address the environmental impact of meat production, animal welfare, food security, and human health.
Currently, many countries in the world such as the U.S., the Netherlands, Singapore, and China have successully produced cultured meat.
However, mass production has not yet started.
But the production process is constantly evolving, driven by companies and research institutions, according to Ha.
The world’s first commercial sale of cultured meat occurred in December 2020 at a restaurant in Singapore, which has been the only place in the world that permits the commercial sale of cultivated protein so far.
Despite that, Ha is hopeful of the future of lab-grown meat in Vietnam.
“In the future, when going to a supermarket in Vietnam, people may see two stalls – one selling cultivated meat and the other selling animal meat like what we are consuming today,” she anticipated.
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