Hybrid Food: Beef Cells Cultivated in Rice Grains

The demand for animal protein is increasing worldwide, but so are the environmental and ethical concerns of industrial livestock production. To address this challenge, researchers have been exploring innovative ways to produce meat without raising animals, such as lab-grown chicken, insect-derived protein, and plant-based burgers. Now, a team of scientists from Yonsei University in South Korea has added a new recipe of Hybrid Food to the list: cultured beef rice.

What is cultured Hybrid Food beef rice?

Cultured beef rice is a hybrid food that combines animal muscle and fat cells with rice grains. The researchers used rice as a biological scaffold to support and nourish the growth of cow stem cells in a petri dish. After 9 to 11 days of culturing, they harvested the hybrid rice, which contained ingredients that met food safety requirements and had a low risk of triggering food allergies. The hybrid food can be cooked and eaten like regular rice, or used as an ingredient in other dishes.

How is cultured beef rice made?

To make cultured beef rice, the researchers first coated rice grains with fish gelatin, a safe and edible ingredient that helps cells latch onto the rice better. They then seeded cow muscle and fat stem cells onto the rice and left them to culture in a petri dish for 9 to 11 days. The cell-cultured rice was then harvested and stored at -80°C until further use. The researchers used molecular and sensory analyses to characterize the nutritional value, odor, and texture of the hybrid food.

Why cultured beef rice?

Cultured beef rice has several advantages over conventional meat. First, it is more nutritious than regular rice, as it has 8% more protein and 7% more fat. Second, it is more flavorful than plain rice, as it has compounds that give it a beef- and almond-like odor and a firmer and brittler texture. Third, it is more eco-friendly than animal meat, as it consumes less resources and water and emits less greenhouse gas. Fourth, it is more ethical than animal meat, as it does not involve killing or harming animals.


Cultured beef rice is a novel hybrid food that could offer a more affordable and sustainable protein alternative with a smaller carbon footprint. The researchers hope to commercialize their method and make it available to consumers in the near future. They also plan to experiment with different types of cells and grains to create more varieties of hybrid food.

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