"What if plant cells could be grown for food by regular people."

Appliance grows fruit cells for human consumption in the comfort of your home


Sat, Feb 17th, 2018 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Albeit the idea isn't new, a home bioreactor would allow home users to grow food cells in the comfort of their home and turn them into a nutritious jam-like substance ready for consumption. Could be handy to feed space travellers or for the world's overgrown population. Above, a photo of strawberry cell jam from the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.

Reuter says expanding the human diet is an essential part of the idea. Of the almost 400,000 species of plants, disregarding lichen and algae, human beings only eat around 3,000. Just a few of these make up most of what’s grown and consumed, known as “staple crops,” and climate change threatens their health. “We’re using a small fraction of the diversity that we could be using,” he says. Small-scale bioreactor technology could change that by allowing people to grow plant cells from previously difficult- or impossible-to-cultivate, but nutritious, plants. Arctic berry plants are at the top of VTT’s list: Arctic bramble, stone bramble and cloudberry cells were some of the first cultivated in the bioreactor. These plants, which are adapted to survive in hostile conditions, contain high levels of nutrients. They’re difficult to grow outside the Arctic and impossible to cultivate except in certain seasons. Many of the berries are also very small, which complicates harvesting.



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