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Frankenstein food: Korea's synthetic rice-beef hybrid

The new product would have a low environmental impact but also a very low protein intake

19, Feb 2024

If it is true that the idea of synthetic meat may be "indigestible" to some consumers, in South Korea they have found a way to sugarcoat the pill. A team of researchers from Yonsei University, led by Professor Jinkee Hong, has experimented with a hybrid between rice and beef grown in the laboratory. The tangible result of this operation is pink-looking rice grains. The researchers prepared the experimental food by coating traditional rice grains with fish gelatin and seeding them with skeletal muscle and fat stem cells that were then grown in the laboratory.

After growing the muscle, fat and gelatin-coated rice for 9-11 days, the grains contained meat and fat throughout, resulting in a final product that researchers say could become a nutritious food, The Guardian reported. Is it tasty. As often happens in campaigns to support "novel foods", the creators claim the goodness of the product, as it has a lower environmental impact than real beef, i.e. with a much lower carbon footprint.

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