Principles of tissue engineering for food

Post, Mark; Weele, Cor Van Der


The technology required for tissue engineering of food is the same as for medical applications and is in fact derived from it. The implementation of the technologies, however, is very different. Tissue engineering for food needs to reach enormous scale and needs to be very cheap, scale and cost being orders of magnitude different from regenerative medicine purposes. In addition, the emotional context of food tissue engineering is also more challenging with less favorable risk–benefit ratio. Technically, tissue engineering for food might be simpler because the engineered tissues do not need to integrate in the body. This also amounts to less risk of adverse effects that are the result of incomplete functional, neuronal, or humoral adaptation.

The implementation of tissue engineering for food is still in its infancy. No products are on the market yet. It is challenging to make these products a reality for the consumer, but the reward and return in terms of value for our society will be tremendous.