Israeli Company Plans to Produce Cultivated Fat, Whole Steaks at Its Forthcoming Pilot Facility

Jennifer Marston wrote . . . . . . . . .

Bioprinting startup MeaTech 3D this week became the latest cultivated meat company to announce a pilot production facility, which the company intends to have operational in 2022. The plant’s location is yet to be announced. MeaTech said they will use the facility to increase the production of cultured chicken fat from Peace of Meat, a Belgian company MeaTech acquired in December of 2020.

MeaTech says cultured fat can “significantly enhance” the texture, flavor, and mouthfeel of plant-based meat alternatives, giving them an altogether “meatier” taste than is available with current plant-based meat analogues. MeaTech said in this week’s announcement that it plans to license its cultivated fat tech — including cell lines and bioprocesses — to other companies wishing to improve their plant-based products.

However, cultivated fat is only one part of MeaTech’s overall plan. In tandem, the company will continue to develop a process for whole cuts of cultivated meat — namely steak and chicken breast — using 3D bioprinting tech.

Developing full cuts of cultivated meat is far more difficult than making minced products for burgers or chicken bites. With full cuts of meat, the various cells, including those for muscle, fat, blood vessels, and connective tissue, have to grow together, on scaffolding, to achieve the desired cut of meat. This is a significantly more intricate process than simply growing the different cells then manually combining them at the end, as can be done for a patty or nugget.

Aleph Farms, also based in Israel, is the other notable company attempting to produce whole cuts of cultivated meat. Earlier this year, the company said they had developed a 3D bioprinted Ribeye steak from cultivated protein.

So far, MeaTech has printed a carpaccio-like layer of meat. A full steak or chicken breast is in all likelihood years away. While the forthcoming pilot production facility will first be used to scale up production of Peace of Meat’s cultured fat, it will eventually incorporate MeaTech’s bioprinting tech to produce the aforementioned whole cuts of meat.

Source: The Spoon

Managing Children’s Weight, Blood Pressure & Cholesterol Protects Brain Function Mid-life

Managing weight, blood pressure and cholesterol in children may help protect brain function in later life, according to new research published in the American Heart Association’s flagship journal Circulation. This is the first study to highlight that cardiovascular risk factors accumulated from childhood through mid-life may influence poor cognitive performance at midlife.

Previous research has indicated that nearly 1 in 5 people older than 60 have at least mild loss of brain function. Cognitive deficits are known to be linked with cardiovascular risk factors, such as high blood pressure, obesity, type 2 diabetes, smoking, physical inactivity and poor diet, as well as depression and low education level.

Many diseases that cause neurological deficits, such as Alzheimer’s, have a long preclinical phase before noticeable symptoms begin, so finding links between childhood obesity and other cardiovascular risk factors is important for cognitive health. The researchers noted that there are currently no cures for major causes of dementia, so it is important to learn how early in life cardiovascular risk factors may affect the brain.

“We can use these results to turn the focus of brain health from old age and midlife to people in younger age groups,” said the study’s first author Juuso O. Hakala, M.D., a Ph.D. student at the Research Centre of Applied and Prevention Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Turku, in Turku, Finland. ”Our results show active monitoring and prevention of heart disease and stroke risk factors, beginning from early childhood, can also matter greatly when it comes to brain health. Children who have adverse cardiovascular risk factors might benefit from early intervention and lifestyle modifications.”

The Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study is a national, longitudinal study on cardiovascular risk from childhood to adulthood in Finland. Researchers followed the participants’ cardiovascular risk factor profiles for 31 years from childhood to adulthood. Baseline clinical examinations were conducted in 1980 on approximately 3,600 randomly selected boys and girls, ranging in ages from 3 to 18, all of whom were white. More than 2,000 of the participants, ranging in ages from 34 to 49, underwent a computerized cognitive function test in 2011. The test measured four different cognitive domains: episodic memory and associative learning; short-term working memory; reaction and movement time; and visual processing and sustained attention.

Researchers found:

  • Systolic blood pressure, total blood cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, as well as body mass index, from childhood to midlife are associated with brain function in middle age.
  • Consistently high systolic blood pressure or high blood total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol were linked to worse memory and learning by midlife when compared with lower measures.
  • Obesity from childhood to adulthood was associated with lower visual information processing speed and maintaining attention.
  • Having all three cardiovascular risk factors was linked to poorer memory and associative learning, worse visual processing, decreased attention span, and slower reaction and movement time.

These results are from observational findings, so more studies are needed to learn whether there are specific ages in childhood and/or adolescence when cardiovascular risk factors are particularly important to brain health in adulthood. Study limitations include that a definite cause-and-effect link between cardiovascular risk factors and cognitive performance cannot be determined in this type of population-based study; cognition was measured at a single point in time; and because all study participants are white, the results may not be generalizable to people from other racial or ethnic groups.

Source: American Heart Association

In Pictures: Soups Around the World (3)

Mohinga, Myanmar

Menudo, Mexico

Moqueca de camarão, Brazil

Soto ayam, Indonesia

Tom yum goong, Thailand

Tonkotsu ramen, Japan

Yayla çorbasi, Turkey

Dementia Risk Rises as Years Lived With Type 2 Diabetes Increases

Amy Norton wrote . . . . . . . . .

The younger people are when they develop type 2 diabetes, the higher their risk of dementia later in life, a new study suggests.

Many studies have pointed to links between diabetes and higher dementia risk. Experts say it’s likely because diabetes can harm the brain in a number of ways.

Now, the new findings suggest that younger people with diabetes may be at particular risk down the road.

At age 70, the study found, people who’d recently been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes had no greater risk of dementia than those without diabetes. The picture was different for people who’d been diagnosed over 10 years prior: They had double the risk of dementia, versus diabetes-free people their age.

That may simply be because they’ve lived with diabetes for years.

“Younger age at onset of diabetes implies longer duration, which allows all the adverse effects of diabetes to develop over a longer period,” said senior researcher Archana Singh-Manoux. She is a research professor with the University of Paris and the French national health institute INSERM.

Type 2 diabetes arises when the body loses sensitivity to insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar. That causes chronically high blood sugar, which over time can damage both large and small blood vessels throughout the body.

Those effects, which may impair blood flow to the brain, are one reason why diabetes is linked to dementia, Singh-Manoux said.

She also pointed to other potential pathways: Insulin plays a role in brain function, and diabetes may hinder it from doing its job. Meanwhile, diabetes treatment can cause frequent episodes of low blood sugar, which over long periods may also harm the brain, Singh-Manoux said.

The findings, published April 27 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, have broad public health implications.

In the United States alone, more than 34 million people have diabetes, with the vast majority having type 2, according to the American Diabetes Association.

At one time, type 2 diabetes was a disease of older adults. But with the ever-growing prevalence of obesity — a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes — the disease is increasingly being diagnosed in young people.

“The prevalence of diabetes continues to increase,” Singh-Manoux said, “and the age at onset is getting younger and younger.”

That means more people will be living longer with diabetes, and they will be vulnerable to the disease’s complications. It’s already known that the younger people are when diabetes arises, the greater their risk of heart disease, stroke and premature death, Singh-Manoux said.

This study adds dementia to that list, she said.

The research included over 10,000 adults in the United Kingdom who were between the ages of 35 and 55 at the outset, in the 1980s. Over the next three decades, 1,710 people developed type 2 diabetes, while 639 were diagnosed with dementia.

At age 70, people who’d developed diabetes within the past five years were at no greater dementia risk than people without diabetes.

But those who’d been diagnosed more than 10 years prior showed a doubling in their dementia risk. Their actual rate of the brain disease was 18 cases per 1,000 people each year, versus about nine cases per 1,000 among diabetes-free adults.

Overall, dementia risk at age 70 rose 24% for every five years people had been living with diabetes.

That is not a surprising finding, according to Dr. Medha Munshi, who directs the geriatrics diabetes program at Joslin Diabetes Center, in Boston.

On the other hand, Munshi said, there is “some reassurance” in the lack of extra risk among older people more recently diagnosed with diabetes.

The question is, can younger diabetes patients curb their dementia risk by gaining better control of their blood sugar?

Other studies, Singh-Manoux said, have found that people with well-controlled diabetes have slower mental decline than those with poor control. And in this study, she noted, dementia risk was particularly high among diabetes patients who also developed heart disease.

What’s key, Munshi said, is that prevention starts early.

“People in their 40s and 50s aren’t usually worried about dementia,” she said. “But this is the time to try to prevent it.”

Diabetes control often means taking medication or insulin, along with diet changes and regular exercise — both of which, Munshi noted, can have numerous long-range health benefits.

“What we do in younger and middle age will change how we end up in older age,” she said.

Source: HealthDay

Pistou

Ingredients

1 zucchini, diced
1 small potato, diced
1 shallot, chopped
1 carrot, diced
8-ounce can chopped tomatoes
5 cups vegetable stock
2 ounces green beans, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup frozen petits pois
1/2 cup small pasta shapes
4-6 tablespoons homemade or bought pesto
1 tablespoon sun-dried tomato paste
salt and ground black pepper
freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to serve

Method

  1. Place the zucchini, potato, shallot, carrot and tomatoes in large pan. Add the vegetable stock and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Add the green beans, petits pois and pasta. Cook for another 10 minutes, until the pasta is tender. Adjust the seasoning.
  3. Ladle the soup into individual bowls. Mix together the pesto and sun-dried tomato paste, and stir a spoonful into each serving. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese to sprinkle into each bowl.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Source: Healthy Mediterranean Cookbook


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