In vitro grown plant cells as food: A simple bioreactor for decentralised food

Jouni Ahtinen, Lauri Reuter, Juha-Pekka Pitkänen, Heiko Rischer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingsScientific


In order to reduce the negative environmental impacts of agriculture including greenhouse gas emissions and soil degradation, and to protect the already dwindling water supplies and biodiversity, new technologies for sustainable and healthy food production are urgently needed. In analogy to the radical invention of 'cultured meat' [1] but to an even greater extend bioreactor-grown plant cell and tissue cultures can be exploited as a totally new food biomass for human consumption. At the same time this concept supports the idea of 'prosumerism' i.e. to allow the consumer to take an active role in food production and ensure that the food is indeed local and pesticide-free. Our investigations revealed that plant cell cultures exhibit a nutritionally promising composition of proteins, carbohydrates and lipids enriched with vitamins and health-promoting compounds [2]. We present a modular bioreactor system based on reliable laboratory technology but cost-efficient and simplified to be utilized in everybody's kitchen that allows the sustainable production of vegetable food. It requires a starter culture - "the seed", nutrients, light and air. These are essentially the same factors as required by a plant growing in the field, but production is faster, more flexible and more eco-efficient.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFood Factor I Conference 2016
Subtitle of host publicationBook of Abstracts
PublisherFormatex Research Center
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventFood Factor I Conference - Barcelona, Spain
Duration: 2 Nov 20154 Nov 2015


ConferenceFood Factor I Conference


  • cellular agriculture
  • in vitro food

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