Possibilities for an in vitro meat production system
Meat produced in vitro has been proposed as a humane, safe and environmentally beneficial alternative to slaughtered animal flesh as a source of nutritional muscle tissue. The basic methodology of an in vitro meat production system (IMPS) involves culturing muscle tissue in a liquid medium on a large scale. Each component of the system offers an array of options which are described taking into account recent advances in relevant research. A major advantage of an IMPS is that the conditions are controlled and manipulatable. Limitations discussed include meeting nutritional requirements and large scale operation. The direction of further research and prospects regarding the future of in vitro meat production will be speculated.
The development of an alternative meat production system is driven by the growing demand for meat and the shrinking resources available to produce it by current methods. Implementation of an in vitro meat production system (IMPS) to complement existing meat production practices creates the opportunity for meat products of different characteristics to be put onto the market. In vitro produced meat products resembling the processed and comminuted meat products of today will be sooner to develop than those resembling traditional cuts of meat. While widening the scope of the meat industry in practices and products, the IMPS will reduce the need for agricultural resources to produce meat.