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  • Condensed by Lynda Kiernan-Stone, Unconventional Ag Media

The Plan to Put Pig Genes in Soybeans for Tastier Fake Meat

Gastón Paladini’s family company is one of the largest meat producers in Argentina. But in 2020, Gastón began to wonder if he could somehow integrate the essence of pork into a plant and grow animal proteins in the field. 

Today, Paladini is the CEO of molecular farming company Moolec Science, a company that is turning plants into tiny factories producing high-value meat proteins and other molecules with the potential to supplement existing products, or enhance plant-based foods. 

In June 2023 at its greenhouses in Wisconsin, the company inserted genes from pigs into soybean plants, with more than a quarter of the soluble proteins generated in the plants being identified as pig. And although the company is awaiting a full nutritional analysis, Paladini noted that the soybeans had a pink hue and a meaty taste. 

The company is aiming to move its soybeans to outdoor field trials in Wisconsin next year, and is also working on pea plants that contain beef proteins and safflowers modified to produce a critical enzyme that helps milk coagulate into cheese.


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