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Korean Scientists Create ‘Rice with Meat-like Texture’

Korean Scientists Create 'Rice with Meat-like Texture' develop, Korean, meaty rice, Scientists Food and Beverage Business

Korean researchers at Yonsei University have developed a new kind of rice that’s packed with beef muscle and fat cells, grown in a lab. This new lab-grown grain is believed to offer an affordable and eco-friendly source of protein.

The process involves coating rice grains with fish gelatin, providing a base for cow muscle cells to stick to. The cells grow throughout the rice grains over a period of 5-7 days, before being placed in a medium that encourages the cow cells to multiply inside the grains.

The resulting ‘meaty rice’ hybrid can be boiled or steamed, much like regular rice. It is reported to have a slightly harder, less sticky, and more brittle texture compared to conventional rice, with a nutty taste. The rice with higher muscle content has the scent of beef and almonds, while the rice with higher fat content has the scent of cream or coconut oil.

This new kind of rice may someday serve as a relief source for famine, military ration, or even space food. As researcher Jinkee Hong noted, “It’s not beef-like in the traditional sense but offers a new gastronomic experience that combines the familiarity of rice with the richness of meaty umami flavors.”

Unlike other kinds of cell-based meat, the ingredients used in producing the ‘meaty rice’ are well-known, provide high nutritional value, and are not expensive, with no genetic modification involved in the process.

Hybrid rice contains 7% more protein and 8% more fat than ordinary rice, with scientists estimating it to produce around 6kg of CO2 for every 100g of protein, compared to traditional beef’s 50kg.

These advantages offer a way to produce meat in a more sustainable manner, reducing the environmental footprint associated with traditional livestock farming and offering a novel food source that could help meet the growing global demand for protein.

The researchers believe that this study’s findings provide feasible ideas for creating various types of future hybrid foods, ensuring food relief in underdeveloped countries, during war, and in space.

The discovery of this lab-grown ‘meaty rice’ holds promising potential for the food industry as a sustainable and innovative source of protein.

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