The Good Food Institute (GFI) attributed a grant fund to Sara M. Oliveira, a scientist from the INL Food Processing and Nutrition research group, to support the open-access research on cultivated meat, one of the technologies that will revolutionise the food system.
This 12-month project will use food 3D printing to understand how the meat texture can be modelled with plant-derived ingredients and animal cells.
According to Sara M. Oliveira, the main goals will be “to use the design of experiment methods to select plant-based ingredients to formulate printable blends allowing healthy cell growth and a good 3D shape fidelity. We will develop mathematical models to understand the impact of those variables on texture properties, such as firmness and tenderness, so we can start to figure out the best way to mimic the slaughtered meat. We will also investigate the nutritional profile evolution by feeding the printed cultivated meat with nutrients to promote growth and protein production. However, which technological means and ingredients should be used to instruct the animal cells to produce similar meat texture and appearance without slaughtering animals is the key question for now.”
The 2020 edition of the GFI’s Competitive Research Grant Program chose the best projects worldwide and Sara Oliveira was one of the 21 leading researchers from nine countries to benefit from this initiative and address many of the global issues posed by conventional ways to produce food, such as products scarcity, climate change, zoonotic diseases or antibiotic resistance.