lab grown food

A 3D-printed tongue reveals why chocolate tastes so good—and how to reduce its fat

Researchers are looking to engineer chocolate with less oil, which could reduce some of its detriments to health.

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Creamy milk with velvety texture. Dark with sprinkles of sea salt. Crunchy hazelnut-studded chunks. Chocolate is a treat that appeals to billions of people worldwide, no matter the age. And it’s not only the taste, but the feel of a chocolate morsel slowly melting in our mouths—the smoothness and slipperiness—that’s part of the overwhelming satisfaction. Why is it so enjoyable?

That’s what an interdisciplinary research team of chocolate lovers from the University of Leeds School of Food Science and Nutrition and School of Mechanical Engineering in the U.K. resolved to study in 2021. They wanted to know, “What is making chocolate that desirable?” says Siavash Soltanahmadi, one of the lead authors of a new study about chocolates hedonistic quality.

Besides addressing the researchers’ general curiosity, their answers might help chocolate manufacturers make the delicacy even more enjoyable and potentially healthier. After all, chocolate is a billion-dollar industry. Revenue from chocolate sales, whether milk or dark, is forecasted to grow 13 percent by 2027 in the U.K. In the U.S., chocolate and candy sales increased by 11 percent from 2020 to 2021, on track to reach $44.9 billion by 2026. Figuring out how chocolate affects the human palate could up the ante even more.

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Cari Shane
Cari Shane is a freelance journalist (and Airbnb Superhost). Originally from Manhattan, Shane lives carless in Washington, DC and writes on a variety of subjects for a wide array of media outlets including, Scientific American, National Geographic, Discover, Business Insider, Fast Company, Fortune and Fodor’s.
Lab-grown meat will soon be sold in the U.S., but who will buy It?

Chicken that is grown entirely in a laboratory, without harming a single bird, could be sold in supermarkets in the coming months. But critics say the doubts about lab-grown meat have not been appropriately explored.

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Last November, when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration disclosed that chicken from a California firm called UPSIDE Foods did not raise safety concerns, it drily upended how humans have obtained animal protein for thousands of generations.

“The FDA is ready to work with additional firms developing cultured animal cell food and production processes to ensure their food is safe and lawful,” the agency said in a statement at the time.

Assuming UPSIDE obtains clearances from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, its chicken – grown entirely in a laboratory without harming a single bird – could be sold in supermarkets in the coming months.

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Ron Shinkman
Ron Shinkman is a veteran journalist whose work has appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine publication Catalyst, California Health Report, Fierce Healthcare, and many other publications. He has been a finalist for the prestigious NIHCM Foundation print journalism award twice in the past five years. Shinkman also served as Los Angeles Bureau Chief for Modern Healthcare and as a staff reporter for the Los Angeles Business Journal. He has an M.A. in English from California State University and a B.A. in English from UCLA.
Meat Shortages Are Here to Stay. Is Lab-Grown Food a Solution?

While lab-grown meat is not yet ready to crisis-proof the food supply chain, it offers key benefits that could make it an important solution beyond this pandemic.

(Lab-grown meat concept photo © tilialucida/Adobe; Regular hamburger photo by Hermes Rivera on Unsplash)

The coronavirus pandemic exposed significant weaknesses in the country's food supply chain. Grocery store meat counters were bare. Transportation interruptions influenced supply. Finding beef, poultry, and pork at the store has been, in some places, as challenging as finding toilet paper.

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Katie Navarra
Katie Navarra is an award-winning writer who covers education, horses, farming, and business/leadership.
With Lab-Grown Chicken Nuggets, Dumplings, and Burgers, Futuristic Foods Aim to Seem Familiar

Shiok Meat's lab-grown "shrimp" dumplings, alongside a photo of the company's CTO, Ka Yi Ling, in a lab.

(Courtesy Shiok Meats)

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Julia Sklar
Julia Sklar is a Boston-based independent journalist who covers science, health, and technology. You can follow her on Twitter at @jfsklar.
Can Cultured Meat Save the Planet?

Lab-grown meat in a Petri dish and test tube.

(© Dmytro Sukharevskyi/Fotolia)

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Peter Singer
Peter Singer is Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics, Princeton University, and Laureate Professor at the University of Melbourne. Author, co-author and editor of fifty books on a range of topics, he is best known for Animal Liberation, widely considered to be the founding statement of the animal rights movement, and for The Life You Can Save, which led him to found the charity of the same name. His other books include Practical Ethics, The Most Good You Can Do, and, with Katarzyna de Lazari-Radek, Utilitarianism: A Very Short Introduction. In 2005, TIME named him one of the World’s 100 Most Influential People. He divides his time between New York City and Melbourne, Australia.
Forget Farm-to-Table: Lab-to-Table Fresh Fish Is Making Waves

A conventionally sourced sea bass from a fishery.

(Courtesy Mike Selden)

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Kira Peikoff

Kira Peikoff was the editor-in-chief of from 2017 to 2021. As a journalist, her work has appeared in The New York Times, Newsweek, Nautilus, Popular Mechanics, The New York Academy of Sciences, and other outlets. She is also the author of four suspense novels that explore controversial issues arising from scientific innovation: Living Proof, No Time to Die, Die Again Tomorrow, and Mother Knows Best. Peikoff holds a B.A. in Journalism from New York University and an M.S. in Bioethics from Columbia University. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and two young sons. Follow her on Twitter @KiraPeikoff.