Russia pioneering in sturgeon meat reproduction
Russian biologists from Kazan-based ArtMeat bioengineering company are pioneering in sturgeon meat culture from muscle fibers. A trial lot is already here and in three or four years minced cultured meat will be appear on the market.
When the new product is on display, it will certainly fetch higher prices as compared to premium products from natural fish meat. Later on, as the technology develops and the production costs go down, the cell sturgeon price will descend to the middle market segment. This can happen as early as in 2026–2027.
Currently there are a lot of startups in the world who dared produce cell meat, however Russians are the first to deal with sturgeon.
Biomaterial for meat culture is taken from sturgeons via a biopsy, because their muscles contain the largest number of stem cells. Those cells are placed in a special bioreactor securing the adequate inflow of nutrients and the necessary temperature regime.
At this stage ArtMeat's bioengineers have to find the best conditions for the meat to grow as fast as possible. In particular, they should develop the optimal formula of the nutrient solution, which is selected empirically by changing the concentration of glucose, amino acids and other important components.
Besides, when making experiments the scientists are looking for optimal operating modes of the equipment, providing the best temperature, mixing speed, humidity and carbon dioxide concentration. In the course of the experiments, the bioengineers were selecting the most actively dividing cells. They were frozen for further experiments and reproduction.
While trying to reproduce the muscle tissue, the biologists have also been experimenting with cultivation of fatty components from stem cells of connective tissue. Those components are added to the cultured muscle tissue in one bioreactor. Due to a more natural joint culture, muscle and fat cells can grow faster than if they were grown separately.
By reproducing fat and meat tissue the scientists wish to create the closest analogue of a natural product with a very good taste greatly depending on fat.