Scientists have isolated two types of stem cells from wagyu cows. They have been modified in the laboratory to become the types of cells needed to create meat.
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The research came to creating structures such as muscle, fat and blood vessels. They were organized to produce a piece of synthetic meat.
However, it is not yet possible to have a barbecue with this creation. The piece of meat produced by the scientists approximates the size of a bean grain: 5 millimeters in diameter, 10 millimeters in length and 5 millimeters thick. Plus, it’s still not edible.
Wagyu meat is known for its so-called marmoreio, the intramuscular fat that gives the piece a marble look and guarantees its tenderness.
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In the article, the scientists explained, in order to reproduce this structure, they recorded a type of image capable of differentiating muscle from fat in detail. From this record, it was possible to create a copy with the required number of each type of cell.
After arranging the cellular components in a tissue so that it looked like wagyu meat, they were treated for two days at a temperature of 4°C with an enzyme called transglutaminase, which is used to change the consistency of food.
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According to the researchers, it will still be necessary to carry out further studies to make the tissue edible and can be produced on a larger scale.
Scientists also believe that, in the future, the method will allow synthetic meat to be created with modifications in fat and muscle components to meet the needs of each person.
Synthetic meat research has become more common in recent years, with projects to create alternatives to hamburgers, chicken and even foie gras.
In December 2020, Singapore became the first country to authorize the sale of artificial meat. The country gave the green light after the request of an American company, which had its product declared fit for consumption.