Microcarriers for Upscaling Cultured Meat Production

Vincent Bodiou, Panagiota Moutsatsou, Mark J. Post*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

51 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Due to the considerable environmental impact and the controversial animal welfare associated with industrial meat production, combined with the ever-increasing global population and demand for meat products, sustainable production alternatives are indispensable. In 2013, the world's first laboratory grown hamburger made from cultured muscle cells was developed. However, coming at a price of $300.000, and being produced manually, substantial effort is still required to reach sustainable large-scale production. One of the main challenges is scalability. Microcarriers (MCs), offering a large surface/volume ratio, are the most promising candidates for upscaling muscle cell culture. However, although many MCs have been developed for cell lines and stem cells typically used in the medical field, none have been specifically developed for muscle stem cells and meat production. This paper aims to discuss the MCs' design criteria for skeletal muscle cell proliferation and subsequently for meat production based on three scenarios: (1) MCs are serving only as a temporary substrate for cell attachment and proliferation and therefore they need to be separated from the cells at some stage of the bioprocess, (2) MCs serve as a temporary substrate for cell proliferation but are degraded or dissolved during the bioprocess, and (3) MCs are embedded in the final product and therefore need to be edible. The particularities of each of these three bioprocesses will be discussed from the perspective of MCs as well as the feasibility of a one-step bioprocess. Each scenario presents advantages and drawbacks, which are discussed in detail, nevertheless the third scenario appears to be the most promising one for a production process. Indeed, using an edible material can limit or completely eliminate dissociation/degradation/separation steps and even promote organoleptic qualities when embedded in the final product. Edible microcarriers could also be used as a temporary substrate similarly to scenarios 1 and 2, which would limit the risk of non-edible residues.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10
Number of pages16
JournalFrontiers in nutrition
Volume7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2020

Keywords

  • cultivated meat
  • clean meat
  • bovine myoblasts
  • satellite cells
  • bioprocessing
  • microbeads
  • cell expansion
  • EMBRYONIC STEM-CELLS
  • LARGE-SCALE PRODUCTION
  • SKELETAL-MUSCLE CELLS
  • EXTRACELLULAR-MATRIX
  • SATELLITE CELL
  • SHEAR-STRESS
  • HYDROXYBUTYL CHITOSAN
  • CURRENT TECHNOLOGIES
  • ENDOTHELIAL-CELLS
  • MAMMALIAN-CELLS

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