Thanks to this Parisian startup, lab-grown foie gras could soon become a reality

It’s a typical French delicacy, but it’s increasingly targeted by animal welfare activists: Can foie gras grown from duck cells find a table location for gourmet food fans?

This is the goal of the Paris-based venture, Gourmey, to complete a recipe for making lab-fed duck liver this month from Western investors for $ 10 million (850). Raised 10,000 euros).

“There is a very strong need for a controversial alternative to regular foie gras, which itself needs to be reinvented,” said Nicolas Morin-Forest, one of Gorumey’s three founders. It was. “I want to show that cultured meat can be used not only for hamburgers, but also for gastronomic products,” he said.

In particular, duck liver, a specialty of southwestern France, is highly regarded by star chef Alain Ducasse either as a braised pear or cooked as a velvety foie gras pate. I am. It is obtained by force-feeding the ducks with a tube stuck in the throat. This has been accused by critics of being unnecessarily cruel and painful for animals.

California has outlawed the sale of foie gras for years, and New York plans to do so next year. The UK is considering banning the production and sale of foie gras, but a member of the European Parliament last month proposed banning force-feeding of ducks and geese, another source of foie gras. Mass production of meat is also on the cross of environmental activists who say that the industry is consuming too much water and energy while producing mass of the greenhouse gas methane.

“By 2050, there will be more than 9.5 billion people on the planet, so we need to produce more meat. Traditional models that require significant resources are not enough,” Morin-Forest said. Stated.

90 percent there
Gourmey, housed in a university laboratory, has been developing a fake liver process that can pass convocations with chefs and food enthusiasts for the past two years. Its founders include cell biologist Antoine Davydoff and PhD student in molecular biology Victor Sayous, who currently has about 20 employees.

“In terms of taste and texture, we are 90 percent there,” said Sayous, from the heart of Foie Gras in southwestern France. “Last Christmas, I offered it with a toast with traditional foie gras without telling my family. Some people were blown away and didn’t notice the difference,” he said. ..

Their recipe begins with removing cells from fertilized duck eggs, placing them in an aluminum “cultivator” and swimming in a nutrient solution maintained at 37 degrees Celsius (99 degrees Fahrenheit). As cells divide and proliferate, their “food” is adjusted to promote the growth of ready hepatocytes after a few weeks. Next, a small amount of vegetable fat was added for creamy consistency and a chef was brought in to fine-tune the results.

“It takes more than 600 trials. I’ve tasted different recipes several times a week and it’s a pretty decent recipe, if not perfect yet,” Morin-Forest said.

Do you fly?
In the latest round of financing, Gorumey will relocate to a 1,000-square-meter facility in central Paris with the aim of demonstrating to investors the feasibility of large-scale production. The startup is also aiming to reduce costs and will start growing chicken, turkey and duck meat.

But first, the foie gras requires certification from health authorities — so far, only Singapore has approved laboratory-grown meat for chicken nuggets made by US companies. Initially, Gourmey will consider selling liver in the United States and Asia, where “both obvious needs and a more highly regulated environment exist,” Morin-Forest said.

If you are close to your home, your request will be evaluated by the European Food Safety Authority. However, it can be difficult to beat the officials.

“Relying on me, meat is not always natural and artificial in France!” Agriculture Minister Julien Denormandie tweeted last December.

This article was published by AF Prelax news. (Hero and Featured Image: Thierry Zoccolan / AFP)

Thanks to this Parisian startup, lab-grown foie gras could soon become a reality

Source link Thanks to this Parisian startup, lab-grown foie gras could soon become a reality

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