Cell cultivated meat is a relatively new (only about 20 years old) idea using a technology that has been around for over one hundred years. The technology necessary to culture cells for human consumption is developing at a rapid pace. The concept is relativity simple in that it uses cells of animal origin and raises them in a bioreactor to produce food that closely mimics meat products traditionally derived from harvesting animals. While the concept of producing cell cultivated meat is simple, the implementation has proven to be very challenging. Today, cell cultivated meat is not available for consumer purchase at retail or food service outlets. Still, current efforts are underway to scale up production of cell cultivated meat, but the industry faces several technology hurdles. Those hurdles include lowering the cost of media used to cultivate cells, developing cell lines that can be propagated indefinitely and producing finished products that possess the same palatable and nutritional characteristics of traditionally produced meat products. At the same time that technological challenges are being navigated, other issues such as governmental regulatory oversight, product labeling, and even nomenclature policy must be addressed. Steps are currently underway to develop a regulatory framework for cell cultivated meat and legislation is being considered to provide federal definitions to ensure clear communication to consumers. In fact, food products produced from cell culture technology are referred to by many names such as: “cultivated meat”, “clean meat”, “cultured meat”, “lab meat”, “fake meat”, “cell cultivated meat”, and “in vitro meat”. Finally, because cell cultivated meat is a brand-new platform in food production, food safety cannot be overlooked. As with any novel food, understanding and mitigating potential safety risks is critical. Because the production systems associated with producing cell cultivated meat are so different from obtaining meat directly from animal sources, there may be food consumption hazards that are not present in conventionally produced meat products. Cell cultivated meat may become available in retail outlets within the next 5 years. Before that happens, all these issues and many others must be addressed.

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cultured meat symposium
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Global Food Security & Sustainability Virtual Summit 2021