Published December 18, 2021 | Version v1
Journal article Open

Perspectives on Scaling Production of Adipose Tissue for Food Applications

  • 1. Biomedical Engineering Department, Tissue Engineering Resource Center, Tufts University
  • 2. Department of Bioengineering, University of California Los Angeles; Department of Integrative Biology & Physiology, University of California Los Angeles
  • 3. W. M. Keck Science Department, Pitzer College


With increasing meat consumption and significant environmental impact during production, it is important to develop sustainable alternatives to meat. Since fat is an important contributor to meat flavor, recapitulating this component in meat alternatives such as plant-based and cell cultured meats is important. Here, we discuss the topic of cell cultured or tissue engineered fat, growing adipocytes in vitro that could imbue meat alternatives with the complex flavor and aromas of animal meat. We outline potential paths for the large-scale production of in vitro cultured fat, including adipogenic precursors during cell proliferation, methods to proliferate and adipogenically differentiate cells at scale, as well as strategies for converting differentiated adipocytes into 3D cultured fat tissues. We showcase the maturation of knowledge and technology behind cell sourcing and scaled proliferation, while also highlighting that adipogenic differentiation and 3D adipose tissue formation at scale need further research. We also provide some potential solutions for achieving adipose cell differentiation and tissue formation at scale based on contemporary research and the state of the field.


This document is the Authors Accepted Manuscript (or "postprint") and may have minor differences from the Version of Record due to final copyedits. The final published version can be accessed at



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