The development of artificial meats has revived a regular trend on a global scale to take an interest in new sources of protein for humans. More than any source of protein, those that would be the easiest to raise, with the best physiological yield and the least environmental impact.
Suffice to say that the unknowns of this equation are not easy to reach! Researchers from the University of Polynesia may have found a solution! A recent thesis presented at the University may be behind the coming of sea cucumber on your plate.
Of course, you will tell us that this is not new and that it is not necessary to have a PhD to know that sea cucumber is edible! The Asian market has always been a market fond of these famous sea cucumbers! And Tahiti has long sought a way to open the doors of this juicy market without impacting the marine ecosystem too much.
And this is the novelty of this group of recently graduated researchers. They have indeed recently made a scientific breakthrough on 2 elements:
The methods of reproduction of the animal,
The genetic modification of its structure to make it a “meat” with a taste closer to that of traditional meat.
Researchers have taken hold of tardigrade genetic elements to accelerate organically (therefore without antibiotics or additives) the rate of development of sea cucumbers while limiting the necessary nutritional intake (and therefore the environmental impact in case of large-scale production scale) to promote this development.
This facilitates the production on farms outside the lagoon and at a pace sufficient to develop a sustainable production pace for market needs.
In addition, the genetic manipulation of the animal made it possible to create a final product closer to the taste of chicken than to the original taste of sea cucumber, which did not satisfy the palates of new markets outside the Asian markets.
Laboratory work must now go into commercial production following an agreement with a local food distribution group that funded the initial research.
However, the public hygiene department validation phase has yet to pass and at this level, much remains to be done because certain associations for environment protection and animal rights have already planned the necessary actions to prevent the marketing of animal meat which, according to them, is the result of unethical scientific manipulation in genetic matters.
And it also remains to convince consumers of the relevance of such an "invention"!