Cellular agriculture: Industrial biotechnology for food and materials

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105 Citations (Scopus)


Fundamental changes of agriculture and food production are inevitable. Providing food for an increasing population will be a great challenge that coincides with the pressure to reduce negative environmental impacts of conventional agriculture. Biotechnological manufacturing of acellular products for food and materials has already been piloted but the full profit of cellular agriculture is just beginning to emerge. Cultured meat is a promising technology for animal-based proteins but still needs further development. The concept of plant cells as food offers a very attractive alternative to obtain healthy, protein-rich and nutritionally balanced food raw material. Moreover, cultured microbes can be processed into a wide range of biosynthetic materials. A better control over structural properties will be increasingly important in all cultured cell applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-134
JournalCurrent Opinion in Biotechnology
Early online date8 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020
MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal


HR and KMOC acknowledge the contributions of the VTT Plant Biotechnology and Food Solution teams towards the ‘Plant cells as food’ concept. Special thanks to Solomia Sumyk Maletych and Elviira Kärkkäinen for preparing the formulations shown in Figure 2 . GS acknowledges the Academy of Finland Center of Excellence Program, especially the Center of Excellence in Molecular Engineering of Biosynthetic Hybrid Materials (HYBER). Päivi Vahala’s and Kristine Rischer’s support concerning formatting and illustrating the manuscript is highly appreciated.


  • cellular agriculture
  • plant cells


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