On March 28, Australian-based cultured meat company Vow unveiled the world’s first meatball created from mammoth DNA. Not ready for human consumption, the project is designed to showcase the advances in cell-cultured meat and its potential to revolutionize the food industry.

A large, brown, circular meat ball is plated on a stone setting with a smear of cream and small flowers and herbs to the right.
Aico Lind (www.studioaico.nl)
The future of food favors the brave.

Tim Noakesmith

Founder of the Vow

“We are on a mission to break the status quo of food using unexpected, delicious flavors and unforgettable experiences,” Vow founder Tim Noakesmith said in a press release. “The future of food favors the brave.”

Originally, Vow intended to produce dodo meat, but the required DNA sequencing didn’t exist. The mammoth meatball initiates a wealth of new possibilities for cultured meat. “Rather than simply replicating existing products, this technology offers us the opportunity to create something truly unique and better,” says James Ryall, Vow’s chief scientific officer. The company’s first consumer-ready release will be Japanese quail dumplings, available in selected restaurants in Singapore later this year.

Meats that are considered rare or even off-limits may soon be sampled in restaurants and on supermarket shelves. London-based Primeval Foods launched last year with plans to bring cultivated exotic meats to diners. The startup is currently working on cultivating tiger, zebra and lion to determine the optimal taste, texture and nutritional value for people.

A person wearing a blue hair cap and blue gloves holds up a clear Petrie dish with slightly red, think liquid inside.
Aico Lind (www.studioaico.nl)

Cell-cultured food creations are on the rise and now span across meat, dairy and coffee. Poised as a sustainable alternative to the current supply chain, this industry is expected to see healthy growth. According to a study by Grand View Research, the global cultured meat market is predicted to reach $373.1 million in 2023, up from $246.9 million in 2022. Whilst several companies are focusing on upscaling traditional cultured meats such as chicken, pork and beef, a few startups are experimenting with opportunities that can diversify our palates and rethink the future of cultured meat. Tiger steak, anyone?

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