Like any new product that is going to be integrated into the food system, food safety is an essential element. In this sense, cultivated meat has the approvals of the first countries that have given the green light to its commercialization and consumption, like US FDA and the Singapore regulatory agency, which have ruled that it is completely safe for consumption.
For their part, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization carried out an exhaustive study entitled «Food Safety Aspects of Cell-Based Food«, which sheds light on related food safety with cultivated meat. It is important to know the key findings of this study and how they contribute to ensuring the safety of this innovative product.
One of the highlights of the FAO study is the rigorous process control involved in the production of cultivated meat. This controlled process is carried out in a highly supervised environment, ensuring the absence of risks related to bacterial or chemical contamination. That is, cultivated meat is produced in controlled, sterile environments, thereby reducing the possibility of foodborne illnesses.
On the other hand, the analysis also focuses on the identification and evaluation of risks associated with the process. Every stage, from cell selection to meat cultivation and processing, undergoes extensive evaluation. Strict protocols are implemented to guarantee the food safety of the product that reaches the consumer. This includes identifying allergens, tracking contaminants, and validating the purity and authenticity of the final product. Thus, modern and advanced analysis methods are used to ensure that cultivated meat meets the highest food safety standards.
Another crucial aspect highlighted by the FAO is regulatory compliance and constant monitoring of cultivated meat. Regulatory authorities work closely with cultivated meat companies to establish appropriate regulations and ensure compliance. Transparency and collaboration are essential to ensure that this new product meets all established legal and food safety requirements.
Cultivated meat is a highly promising innovation to respond to critical challenges in the food industry. In this sense, the FAO study provides us with valuable insights into food safety and how effective measures are being implemented to ensure a safe and reliable product for consumers.
Safety goes hand in hand with sustainability
Food safety not only refers to the prevention of potential contaminants, but also to the long-term sustainability of the system. Both elements, safety and sustainability, add up to feed future generations responsibly. As the world’s population continues to rise, ensuring the sustainability of the food system becomes even more pressing, as the growing demand for food poses significant challenges in terms of sustainable production, distribution and consumption.
Cultivated meat offers the opportunity to address this food demand ethically and with a lower environmental impact. Being a more efficient alternative in the use of resources, these foods have the potential to satisfy the growing demand, as a complement to the traditional system, without depleting natural resources excessively.
To ensure food security in the context of an expanding population, we must adopt innovative approaches that address both the quantity and quality of food available to all. Cultivated meat will undoubtedly play an important role in all of this.