Rice and beef, together at last

Yonsei University

It’s the ultimate fusion food: Soon you could be sitting down to a meal of rice and beef where the two main ingredients are combined in a lab-grown hybrid.

Many research groups and companies are developing. meat products grown from cells in the laboratory, Which aims to solve problems including big ones. Environmental Impacts of Livestock Agriculture.

Instead of growing animal cells into large structures that mimic the texture of meat – which has proven challenging – Jinky Hong from Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, and his colleagues wanted to create a “new whole food” by combining rice grains and cultured animal cells.

They first coated the rice grains with fish gelatin so that cow muscle cells could stick to them, then allowed the cells to grow in the rice grains for about five to seven days. Next, the rice was placed in a medium that encouraged cow cells to grow inside the grain.

The resulting beef rice hybrid can be boiled or steamed like regular rice. Its texture is firmer, more crumbly and less sticky than regular rice, Hong says, and it has a nutty flavor.

“It’s not beef in the traditional sense, but it offers a new gastronomic experience that combines the familiarity of rice with the richness of meaty umami flavors,” he says.

The researchers found that the hybrid rice contained 7 percent more protein and 8 percent more fat than normal rice. They estimate that its production emits about 6 kilograms of carbon dioxide for every 100 grams of protein, while beef emits about 50 kilograms.

Unlike other types of cultured meat, the ingredients used in beef rice production are all well-known and inexpensive, with high nutritional value, says Hong. Also, no genetic modification is involved in this process.

“These advantages…offer a way to produce meat more sustainably, reducing the environmental impact associated with traditional livestock farming and offering a new food source that provides protein,” says Hong. can help meet growing global demand,” says Hong.

“It has the potential to be not only a great trick, but also very useful,” he says. Johannes Le Coutre at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. “It’s just a matter of being able to scale these products. The challenge will be to grow meat cells on rice at scale.