UK Startup Higher Steaks Unveils Lab-Grown Pork Belly and Bacon

The company announced the creation of the world’s first lab-grown prototypes this week

Dr. Ruth Faram and CEO Benjamina Bollag of Higher Steaks
Head of R&D Dr. Ruth Faram [left] and CEO Benjamina Bollag show off lab-grown bacon.
Higher Steaks
By Evan Bleier / July 23, 2020 11:16 am

Thanks to a U.K.-based startup, there’s no need to wait until pigs fly to sample bacon and pork belly that was grown in a lab.

This week, Higher Steaks announced they successfully created the world’s first lab-grown prototypes for bacon and pork belly using cells from animals.

CEO Benjamina Bollag told The Spoon it took about a month to create the prototypes by using the induced pluripotent stem cells.

First used to simulate muscle tissue, the cells were then combined with plant protein and fats to fill out the prototypes.

“In nature, you have adult stem cells and embryonic stem cells,” Bollag told The Spoon. “And this is a way of taking any cell in the body and bringing it back to the embryonic state. Which means that you can expand those cells a lot more and you can make any type of tissue.”

Unfortunately, customers will have to wait to bring home the lab-grown bacon and pork belly.

“I think in the next two to three years, you’ll start seeing it in the upper end, maybe in select restaurants, small quantities,” Bollag said. “I think for it to be mass market, really price comparison and supermarket, you’re looking more around five years.”

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