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Japanese researchers 3D printed Wagyu ox

In Japan, a team of researchers succeeded in 3D printing a piece of Wagyu beef. A world first that already makes enthusiasts salivate.

Considered one of the best meats in the world, Wagyu beef may soon no longer be just for wealthy epicureans. At least that is what this team of Japanese researchers, who recently managed to 3D print a larger-than-life piece of Wagyu beef. Here, no animal exploitation, but rather the culture of stem cells from animals. Once rearranged into muscles, fats and blood vessels, then assembled by bioprinting, these cells would ultimately be able to mimic a traditional piece of meat to perfection.

Creating fake “real meat”, the ecological challenge of 2021?

As impressive as it may sound, this experience is not the first of its kind to be successful. A few days ago, the Israeli company Future Meat announced the increase in its production of bio-printed meat, with the aim of meeting large-scale industrial demand. If it is still in its infancy, this type of meat could well revolutionize humanity, by allowing humans to benefit from the nutritional contributions of animal products, while ending intensive farming. A change of course that could also considerably reduce our carbon footprint. At a time when 2000 animals are slaughtered every second in the world for the needs of the agrifood industry, intensive breeding represented in 2005 more than 14.5% of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions (produced by humans) on the planet, indicates a report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) published in 2013. By way of comparison, meat grown in a laboratory would save money. 80% greenhouse gas emissions, 99% operating surface and up to 96% water compared to conventional breeding.

Wagyu for everyone?

Protected designation which designates several breeds of Japanese beef cows, including the famous Kobe beef, Wagyu is today considered an exceptional dish. The particular treatment of the animals and the quality of the selected breeds thus make it possible to obtain an extremely marbled fatty meat, with a tender and melting texture. According to Michiya Matsusaki, one of the researchers behind this survey, bioprinting would not only make the product more accessible, but also make it healthier, by precisely adjusting the amount of fat desired.

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