Could Cell-Based Meat Replace Factory Farming? | AIChE

Could Cell-Based Meat Replace Factory Farming?


With veganism and vegetarianism on the rise — due to apprehension about the adverse environmental impacts of the meat industry, concerns about animal cruelty, and a host of other reasons — meat alternatives have become increasingly popular. Companies such as Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods have created plant-based, meat-like products that are sold in fast food restaurants and grocery stores around the world.

Burger King’s Impossible Whopper has become a highlight of its menu for both meat-eaters and vegetarians, while KFC’s recent trial release of Beyond Meat’s fried chicken sold out in less than five hours.

The secret behind Impossible Foods’ plant-based meat alternatives is soy leghemoglobin, a protein that contains heme, which is the molecule that carries iron in live animals, giving meat its color, texture, and taste. However, while plant-based meat alternatives are a viable option for consumers concerned about the sustainability and ethics of meat consumption, these substitutes can sometimes fall short of the real deal...

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