How will produce meat in the future
What methods of production of artificial meat do scientists propose to overcome the food crisis?
Do you like ruddy kebabs, juicy beef steaks and fragrant hot cutlets? We have two news for you. The bad thing is that in the foreseeable future there will not be enough meat for everyone. Today, every year, humanity eats more than 66 billion animals.
Food of the future: sorry for the bird ...
How many living creatures need to feed humanity for a year
Judging by the dynamics in the next 30-50 years, in order to feed hungry mouths, this figure will need to be doubled, since it is necessary to satisfy the appetites of the developing states, where a population explosion is observed. When the Chinese under Mao Zedong built a bright future, they averaged 4 kilograms of meat per person per year (about 11 grams per day). Today, each of the 1 billion 379 million inhabitants of the Celestial Empire fries, brews and stews an average of 55 kilograms of meat per year.But there is also the population of India, which in numbers almost overtook the Chinese comrades. And they all dream to catch up on the consumption of delicacies America (the Yankees, on average, absorb 120 kg of meat per year) or Russia (73 kilos).
However, someone on the planet will still have to tighten their belts. According to the calculations of scientists, if you divide in a brotherly way, then the Earth’s resources will be enough only for the production of 40 kilograms of meat for each of the 7 billion people inhabiting the Earth. But by 2060, the world's population will grow by a quarter - to 9.5 billion!
However, for the avid meat eaters there is good news. Scientists have learned to grow meat from a test tube, which in taste and nutritional properties is not inferior to natural.
How to make artificial meat
The coming food crisis is trying to anticipate many developers of artificial meat.
Most manufacturers prefer to grow artificial meat from animal stem cells. This, of course, is a more humane way of producing protein than traditional meat production. But at least one animal will have to be sacrificed. Ideally, it looks like this: a cow or a pig is being cherished and cherished, kept on ecologically clean pastures, and they are given perfect food.This is done in order to get the elite and clean meat at the cellular level, then the animal is “sacrificed”. Its stem cells will become the material for growing hundreds of tons of muscle mass in special bioreactors. The cells will be placed in a warm nutrient solution, where they will multiply very quickly, until they turn into a kind of clump of minced meat.
Technologies of different companies differ only in nuances. For example, the American company Memphis Meats creates duck and chicken meat in bioreactors, cultivating cells from fetal chick serum. Israeli startup SuperMeat made a bet on growing chicken liver. By the way, SuperMeat, along with two other Israeli laboratories, received a serious contract from the Chinese government. The authorities of the Middle Kingdom are so “tasted to taste” the development of biochemists that they have invested 300 million in the development of Israeli technologies for the production of artificial meat. But 300 million is still flowers.
The winners of the “meat” race will cut the prize of 729 billion dollars - the amount of the world meat production market is estimated at this amount. But all the creators of pork, chicken and other "Frankenstein" are faced with one unappetizing problem.Protein food, which is obtained at the outlet, to taste is very vaguely reminiscent of natural meat. The fact is that, although in bioreactors the same conditions are simulated as inside the body of a living being, cultured meat turns out to be porous and elastic.
Solve the problem, it seems, was managed by a startup called Impossible Foods, which achieved the greatest authenticity in taste parameters. This is especially surprising, given that they create their "beef" not from animal cells, but from plant materials. But the founder of the company, professor of biochemistry Patrick Brown, reasoned as follows: real meat is very difficult to grow out of the cells, because it is a very complex tissue. It consists of tens of thousands of muscle fibers, blood vessels, nerves, layers of fat and connective tissue. It is much easier to decompose this complex matter into chemical elements and then try to put it all together from raw materials of plant origin. Big people believed in the project: among the investors are the richest man on the planet, Bill Gates, and the most wealthy Asian businessman, Hong Kong entrepreneur Li Kashin.Biochemists Impossible Foods have spent 5 years and 80 million dollars in order to decompose the taste of beef into molecules. They studied why raw meat is almost tasteless, but if you throw it in a griddle, the kitchen is immediately filled with seductive aromas. Why a piece of veal hiss in a griddle. Because of what changes color after heat treatment. Thanks to what substances the firm smell is formed.
What is synthetic beef
As a result, it turned out that the key component that gives me taste and texture is gems. These compounds are part of hemoglobin. The heme contains an atom of iron, and because of this the blood is capable of being saturated with oxygen. Muscle fibers are especially rich in these compounds. This is a kind of building blocks from which a living organism is built. Hemes are found not only in living organisms, but also in plants. For example, in soy. True, the percentage of hemes in plant tissues is thousands of times less than in animal tissues. However, biochemists have found a reasonably cheap way to synthesize a “secret ingredient” from soy. This plant contains leggemoglobin - complex proteins that also have the ability to bind oxygen and have a great structural similarity with hemoglobin.Scientists explain this by a common evolutionary origin. The problem was that for the production of such a quantity of heme, which is contained in one kilogram of muscle tissue, so much soy is needed that production does not fit into the framework of profitability.
However, Patrick Brown and his colleagues managed to cope with this problem by borrowing the solution from the brewers. They used the same fermentation process, as a result of which a divine frothy drink was born. The genes responsible for the production of leggemoglobin in soybeans “planted” the strain of the yeast Pichia pastoris, which is used in biotechnology for the synthesis of proteins. The resulting mass was fed with a nutrient solution and the heme was obtained in industrial volumes.
In addition, they reconstructed the smell of meat using vegetable analogues.
“It’s not at all difficult to make the necessary smell; you just need to know in what proportions you mix the chemicals of which it consists,” says Stacey Simonych, a chemist at the University of Oregon.
Food of the Future: Now Available
Since 2016, artificial beef has begun its triumphal procession through American catering establishments. You can try it in New York, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Texas.Earlier this year, Impossible Foods opened a laboratory for the production of its "beef" on an industrial scale. The company is able to synthesize 454,000 kg of artificial meat per month. According to Patrick Brown, this is enough to provide 1,000 burgers with artificial burgers. He is confident that from those who want to try a curiosity will not end up. According to gourmets, the only difference is that Impossible Foods burgers cost 12 dollars - twice as expensive as usual.
How to make people who are in their right mind and memory, overpay for a burger in half? The system of arguments of manufacturers looks quite slim. They appeal to the brightest human feelings.
- Buying a synthetic protein hamburger, a person commits a noble deed - he helps society! - says Patrick Brown, a specialist in molecular biology. - To create a kilogram of meat, we need 20 times less farmland and 4 times less water. At the same time, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced by 8 times.
How the cows spoil the air
- It would seem that cows have something to do with global climate change. But scientists have calculated: every day a cow eats about 15-20 kilograms of grass.
- During the processing of this green mass, the animal's digestive system emits 500 liters of methane daily.
- In general, the meat industry emits 18 percent of the greenhouse gases produced by mankind. About the same pollutes the air and road transport.
Another movement pioneer, Dutch biochemist Mark Post from the University of Maastricht, is also putting pressure on consciousness. It was he who in 2013 presented to the public the world's first cutlet, grown from animal stem cells.
“I think that after 25 years, governments will force traditional meat producers to pay an environmental tax,” says a Dutch professor. - About the same thing happens in the automotive industry. For example, Germany announced a ban on the production of machines with internal combustion engines since 2030. So clears the way more environmentally friendly electric vehicles. I think today's children will live to the day when it will be prohibited to raise animals for slaughter. It will happen in 50-60 years. But now traditional meat can be sold with the inscription on the packaging: "During the production of this product, an animal suffered and was killed."
What other alternative ways of food production are developing in the world?
This method was invented by Finnish scientists from the Lappeenranta University of Technology and the VTT Technical Research Center. It is based on the cultivation of special hydrogen bacteria in a biological reactor. These are microorganisms that use carbon as a building material for cells. Its full of atmospheric carbon dioxide. To absorb carbon, hydrogen bacteria need an energy source — molecular hydrogen (it’s not by chance they were named after this chemical element). But he already does not roll on the road. But it is formed in a bioreactor, where water, under the influence of electricity, is decomposed into oxygen and hydrogen, so loved by these bacteria. As a result, the cell mass begins to grow and nutrient broth is formed in the apparatus. Then the solution is filtered, dried and served to the table in the form of white powder.
Without knowing it, every person eats on average 5 kilograms of insects in his life, entomologist Oleg Borodin, assistant professor of the zoology department of the biological faculty of the Belarusian State University, estimated. Larvae, aphids, beetles and worms enter our body mainly along with fruits and vegetables.
Shitburger do not want?
The Japanese scientist Mitsuyuki Ikeda from Okayama's laboratory took up this smelly scientific topic. He managed to synthesize meat from human waste. Initially, by order of the company serving the sewage system in Tokyo, he studied the problems of recycling urban waste. In the course of the research, Ikeda discovered bacteria in the sewage sludge that processed the excreta into protein. Ikeda isolated pure protein from the brown mass, seasoned with dyes, flavors and obtained from the “secondary product”, sung by Vladimir Voinovich, another kind of artificial meat. The Japanese dubbed him a shitburger. Here is its nutritional value: 63% of proteins, 25% of carbohydrates, 3% of fats and 9% of minerals.