Latest meat substitute being developed is beef-infused rice

‘The development of future food is an inevitable task for sustainable humanity’

A South Korean research team has created a new way to get protein — by creating beef-infused rice.

“Imagine obtaining all the nutrients we need from cell-cultured protein rice,” the study’s author, Sohyeon Park, said in a news release. “Rice already has a high nutrient level, but adding cells from livestock can further boost it.”

“The development of future food is an inevitable task for sustainable humanity,” he said.

Beef-infused rice has joined other meat substitute foods like lab-grown chicken and cricket protein. The rice is generated by growing animal muscle and fat cells inside the rice grains.

“To cultivate cell-cultured meat, the team mimicked this cellular environment — using rice. Rice grains are porous and have organized structures, providing a solid scaffold to house animal-derived cells in the nooks and crannies,” the researchers wrote.

After nine to 11 days, the inside and outside of the rice grain start to develop a different texture, nutritional profile and flavor — which mimics micro beef sushi — than traditional rice grains.

Perfecting the rice took a lot of time with food industry standards of analysis that included odor, texture and nutritional value.

According to the press release, the latest meat alternative uses safe, accessible and affordable ingredients that help make the final product “sustainable to produce and easy on the wallet.”

Beef rice has passed the first round of tests, but it won’t be on the market just yet. The researchers said they are working on improving the color, taste and texture before rolling it out to supermarkets.