Higher Steaks, a UK-based startup, has produced the first samples of cultivated (cell-based) bacon and pork belly.

The pork belly is approximately 50 percent cultivated meat to 50 percent plant-based while the bacon is around 70 percent cultivated meat to 30 percent plant-based. The other ingredients include mixture of plant proteins, fats, and starches to bind to the cellular structure, giving the products the classic pork taste and texture.

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Cultivated meat (also known as cell-based, cultured, or lab-grown meat) is meat grown outside the animal using a sample of animals cells. Companies claim cultivated meat can provide animal-based meat without the environmental and ethical harms of the animal agriculture industry.

Some 30 cell-based meat startups have launched globally since 2014, including Higher Steaks, Memphis Meats, Aleph Farms, Mosa Meat and Supermeat, hoping to capture the growing number of consumers who care about the environment but still eat animal-based meat.

“Our mission is to provide meat that is healthy and sustainable without the consumer making any sacrifices on taste,” said Higher Steaks chief executive, Benjamina Bollag, in a statement. “The production of the first ever cultivated bacon and pork belly is proof that new techniques can help meet overwhelming demand for pork products globally.”

For now, the company has only produced a small samples for tasting events, but hopes to work to commercialize their product in the future.

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Read more about cultivated meat and Higher Steaks cultivated meat technology.

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