Call for papers: Biomaterials for Future Food
Salmon lox on a bagel. Credit: Wild Type
Salmon lox on a bagel. Credit: Wild Type

We have the pleasure of inviting you to contribute a manuscript to a special themed issue of Biomaterials devoted to “Biomaterials for Future Food”.

New technologies to produce food are rapidly emerging to address increasingly complex global challenges. These emerging technologies support the development of alternative proteins, which can be subdivided into plant-based, fermentation-based, and cell-based foods, also referred to as cellular agriculture or cultivated meat. This special issue is primarily focused on cultivated meat and the technologies enabling this new field, yet relevant innovations from plant-based protein and fermentation research are also of interest where they can clearly support cellular agriculture. For example, advances in texturing plant-based protein, which could be used as cell culture scaffolds, and identifying food-safe culture medium supplements, clearly translate towards advancing cultivated meat technology. Similarly, new fermentation techniques such as solid-state fermentation of fungi could provide novel scaffolding materials, and production of recombinant animal proteins and growth factors at scale is needed to enable large-scale production of cultivated foods.

Research into cell-based or tissue-based cultivated meat production is largely derived from technologies that were previously developed for tissue engineering, or manufacturing cells for therapeutic and regenerative medicine. In order to translate these technologies to produce sufficient quantities of food products, there is the added challenge of adapting the existing techniques for personalized-scale (scale-out) or large-scale (scale-up) food production, or else inventing entirely new technologies to address the challenges of scale and cost. For cultivated meat, it will be important to develop structured products that properly recapitulate the appearance, texture and taste of meat, and new types of safety assessment and monitoring systems must be developed.

This themed issue on “Biomaterials for Future Food” aims to highlight advances in both fundamental and enabling technologies that support the translation of laboratory-scale research to scalable and cost-effective processes for future cultivated food production.

We plan to highlight, but not limit to, the following areas of research:

Cellular agriculture: cell- and tissue-based cultivated meat

  1. Production of livestock and insect cell-lines
  2. Critical quality attributes (CQA) and process analytical technologies (PAT) for the monitoring and quality control of culture processes
  3. Bioreactor technologies for scalable culture of animal cells
  4. Muscle fiber alignment and maturation at scale
  5. Adipose cell and tissue engineering and manufacturing at scale
  6. Perfusion bioreactors to maintain and mature large-scale 3D tissues

Plant-based technologies supporting cellular agriculture:

  1. Edible and biodegradable biomaterials and scaffolds
  2. Hybrid biomaterials: plant-based materials modified with bioactive factors such as animal proteins and peptides
  3. Plant-based scaffolds with muscle-like fibrous texture
  4. Plant-derived ingredients for basal culture medium

Fermentation technologies supporting cellular agriculture:

  1. New fermentation techniques to produce scaffold materials or recombinant proteins: Fungi, algae, solid-state fermentation, etc.
  2. Fermentation of plant proteins or waste materials to produce cell culture medium ingredients and supplements
  3. Producing recombinant proteins and growth factors at scale

Precision sensory engineering

  1. Food matrix design to control taste, aroma and texture perception
  2. Screening proteins and peptides for sensory response
  3. AI-based data analytics to classify appearance features
  4. Food proteomics, lipidomics, glycomics and mechanobiology

Novel food processing methods

  1. Food texturing and encapsulation methods and materials
  2. 3D Printing for food applications from personalized- to large-scales
  3. Droplet microfluidic-based flavour engineering methods
  4. Plant-based fats formulated for stability during cooking

Food storage & safety

  1. Edible or biodegradable packaging materials
  2. Food preservation such as freeze drying & other dehydration methods
  3. Natural food preservatives and materials for fortified foods
  4. Rapid (<2hr) detection and quantification of adventitious agents

Submission is now open here: Please indicate when requested that your paper should be considered for the special issue: Biomaterials for Future Food. Note that all papers will be subject to the journal’s strict international peer review policy. Please do contact Professor Hanry Yu if you have any questions regarding this themed issue. 

We look forward to working with you on this important themed issue for Biomaterials.

Hanry Yu
Associate Editor,
and Overseeing Editor, Biomaterials for Future Food

Jianwu Dai
Stacey C. Skaalure
Laura J. Domigan

Guest Editors, Biomaterials for Future Food:

Jianwu Dai, PhD
Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

Laura J. Domigan, PhD
University of Auckland, New Zealand

Stacey C. Skaalure, PhD
Science and Technology Research Fellow, The Good Food Institute

Hanry Yu, PhD
National University of Singapore, Singapore