Current research, industrialization status, and future perspective of cultured meat
Received: Dec 15, 2023 ; Revised: Jan 24, 2024 ; Accepted: Jan 30, 2024
Published Online: Feb 02, 2024
Expectations for the industrialization of cultured meat are growing due to the increasing support from various sectors, such as the food industry, animal welfare organizations, and consumers, particularly vegetarians, but the progress of industrialization is slower than initially reported. This review analyzes the main issues concerning the industrialization of cultured meat, examines research and media reports on the development of cultured meat to date, and presents the current technology, industrialization level, and prospects for cultured meat. Currently, over 30 countries have companies industrializing cultured meat, and around 200 companies that are developing or industrializing cultured meat have been surveyed globally. By country, the United States has over 50 companies, accounting for more than 20% of the total. Acquiring animal cells, developing cell lines, improving cell proliferation, improving the efficiency of cell differentiation and muscle production, or developing cell culture media, including serum-free media, are the major research themes related to the development of cultured meat. In contrast, the development of devices, such as bioreactors, which are crucial in enabling large-scale production, is relatively understudied, and few of the many companies invested in the development of cultured meat have presented products for sale other than prototypes. In addition, because most information on key technologies is not publicly available, it is not possible to determine the level of technology in the companies, and it is surmised that the technology of cultured meat-related startups is not high. Therefore, further research and development are needed to promote the full-scale industrialization of cultured meat.