An alternative animal protein source: cultured beef

Mark J. Post*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

57 Citations (Web of Science)


Alternative sources of animal proteins areneeded that can be produced efficiently, thereby providing food security with diminished ecological burden. It is feasible to culture beef from bovine skeletal muscle stem cells, but the technology is still under development. The aim is to create a beef mimic with equivalent taste, texture, and appearance and with the same nutritional value as livestock-produced beef. More specifically, there is a need for optimization of protein content and fat content. In addition, scalability of production requires modification of current small-scale bioreactors to the largest possible scale. The necessary steps and current progress suggest that this aim is achievable, but formal evidence is still required. Similarly, we can be optimistic about consumer acceptance based on initial data, but detailed studies are needed to gain more insight into potential psychological obstacles that could lead to rejection. These challenges are formidable but likely surmountable. The severity of upcoming food-security threats warrants serious research and development efforts to address the challenges that come with bringing cultured beef to the market.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-33
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • cultured beef
  • food security
  • stem cell
  • skeletal muscle

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