Aston University labelled “leading light” in cultured meat research

Posted: 11 May 2023 | | No comments yet

Aston University has been named one of the UK’s “leading lights” in cultured meat research.

cultured meat

With cultured meat being a hot topic in the food industry of late, Aston University has been labelled a “leading light” in lab-grown meat research.

According to the University, cultured meat has been predicted to be “the future of food”. In fact, the Good Food Institute has said that at the end of 2022, there were 156 companies dedicated to producing cultivated meat and seafood across the world.

Aston University is one of 17 higher education institutions that is expected to play a “major role” in the development of cultivated meat in the coming years, according to Cellular Agriculture UK. It has said that Aston University is one of five institutions it chose to highlight in its report “Mapping the potential for UK universities to become research and teaching hubs for cellular agriculture”.

As described in the report, Aston University is seen to have “potential to be an anchor institution for cellular agriculture”. This is due to its research and teaching, public outreach work, links with emerging industry and its central location.

 “This is still a relatively new food technology. Unlike many others we work on biomaterials for microcarriers/scaffolds for cultivated meat, which puts us in a very strong position, in the UK at least,” said Dr Eirini Theodosiou, Senior Lecturer in the School of lnfrastructure and Sustainable Engineering.

Also commenting on cultivated meat research, Dr Jason Thomas, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Aston University, said: “We are interested in finding out what factors can influence consumer purchase of and consumption of lab-made meat.”

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“The engineering/psychology link is one of our USPs and is something Aston University can capitalise on; learning what the consumer wants from cultivated meat, and what would encourage them to consume it, using psychological science, and then incorporating this directly into the production process via engineering.”

Dr Thomas concluded that as lab-grown meat is a “relatively new technology”, he thinks there is “much work to be done to make it affordable, acceptable and on a massive scale”, but he thinks that it “could easily end up being one of the most transformative new foods of the 21st century.”