These living cells have the same thickness as a sheet of printer paper and are grown inside culture first, concentrated on growth plates, and are then peeled off and stacked together. These sheets bond together naturally before the cell dies.
This method was devised by researchers Ravi Selvaganapathy and Alireza Shahin-Shamsabadi. "The layers can be stacked into a solid piece of any thickness and tuned to replicate the fat content and marbling of any cut of meat," says Selvaganapathy. This technique is an advantage over other alternatives.
He states that since they are creating slabs of meat, consumers can customize and ask for their preferred fat content like they do with milk. He also adds that this same technology can be used for growing pork, chicken, or beef and that this model can lend itself well to large scale production.
"Meat production right now is not sustainable," Selvaganapathy says. "There has to be an alternative way of creating meat." Inspiration to develop this technique grew from the increasing worldwide demand for meat, which is straining land and water resources. The meat-supply crisis all over the world has led to a rise in the amount of greenhouse gases to worrying levels.
The researchers point out that producing viable meat would be more sustainable, sanitary, and far less wasteful compared to raising and harvesting animals for meat. They believe that the form of cultivated meat developed by them has the best potential for creating products that consumers can afford, accept and enjoy.