Tissue engineering experts at the University of Bath are growing animal cells on blades of grass, as they play their part in helping the UK understand how to effectively scale up production of cultured meat.
To create cultured or lab-grown meat, a biopsy is taken from an animal such as a pig or cow and then stem cells from that sample are placed in a bioreactor in a laboratory, where they are fed a solution of glucose, amino acids, vitamins and minerals.
This blend of cells and nutrients in specific conditions will allow the cells to develop into mature muscle cells that will form cultured meat.
If this process can be reproduced on an industrial scale, meat eaters could soon be enjoying a slaughter-free supply of meat products. The current texture of cultured meat makes it best suited to sausages and burgers. However, it is hoped that products such as steak and bacon rashers will be developed in the future.