The Belgian start-up that wants to imitate meat: “We were able to recreate the taste and smell of meat using these proteins”

Bread, beer, wine, yogurt, cheese… And now meat? Man-made fermentation, the first trace of which dates back to 14,000 years ago, is now being used for “meat without animals”. More precisely, the “precision fermentation” that renews, with the most advanced biology, the “old” fermentation technique – that natural ability of microbes to destroy carbon compounds like sugar in order to feed and multiply and, in doing so, , generate products (such as lactic acid or alcohol) that man has learned to use to his advantage. The aim of this combination of the modern and the ancient: to produce “compounds” of meat, animal proteins indistinguishable from any other animal proteins.

These will be used to add cultured meat or plant-based substitutes to improve its texture, color and flavor so that it resembles as closely as possible what the consumer expects from meat. In the case of precision fermentation, thanks to genetics, single-celled organisms (microbes) are specially designed in the laboratory to produce the specific compounds that are desired (animal proteins, etc.).

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