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In vitro meat: Lab-grown burger to be unveiled and tasted next week

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By Nathan Gray+

29-Jul-2013

The first lab-grown meat will be presented and tasted next week.
The first lab-grown meat will be presented and tasted next week.

The world's first in vitro meat - a €250,000 burger made from lab grown beef - will be unveiled and served next week.

The burger, which has been more than two years in the making, will be presented, served, and tasted at a special event next week after delays put back production of the burger from its initially penned 'serving date' last autumn.

Professor Mark Post, the man behind the project previously told FoodNavigator that the production of the world's first in vitro meat products will offer the beginning of a new solution to the problem of an ever-increasing population, and a growing demand for meat products.

The team of scientists led by Post 'grew' the beef that now makes up the burger using stem cells extracted from cattle. The in vitro process involves growing muscle tissue from a small number of stem cells taken from healthy cows. The tissue is then ground up and mixed with lab grown fat to produce a completely lab-grown version of the burger.

Researchers believe the so called ‘test tube meat’, could eventually lead to the reliable, sustainable production of low cost food, without the need for livestock.

Proof of principle

Speaking in an audio interview with FoodNavigator previously , Professor Post said the current project to produce a lab-grown burger is a ‘proof of principle’ project - which still require 'a lot more development' before lab grown meats are commercially viable.

“Our goal is to build one burger in the coming year," he said. "It’s going to cost 250,000 Euros, so it’s a very expensive burger … but hopefully this will create enough enthusiasm and financial support to upscale and economise the processes, so that we can improve and start to think about a real manufacturing process."

Post added that the long term goals of the project "have to be" to grow much larger pieces of meat, such as steaks and chops - if the process is to succeed in helping to solve the ever growing problem of world hunger.

FoodNavigator will be reporting live on the unveiling of the in vitro burger next week. To listen to our previous podcast with Professor Mark Post please follow this link.

1 comment (Comments are now closed)

Not the answer

If we wanted to end the problem of world hunger, we wouldn't be wasting huge sums of money and planetary resources creating a grotesque new version of animal flesh. Instead we would be bringing our population gently back into balance with planetary resources by promoting universal access to birth control and family planning services, raising the status of women, and promoting and expanding the already impressive array of vegetarian meat analogues and healthy veg fare available, as well as switching to humane certified animal products. Sorry, but 'lab meat' is NOT an answer to feeding the burgeoning human population. Increasing the food supply - if, indeed, lab meat will actually do that - will only fuel the expenditure of precious resources on studying its long-term health effects and promote even more population growth. Besides, who knows what the consequences of eating this stuff will be. It's another example of good intentions that are going to bite us with all sorts of unintended consequences.

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Posted by Jennifer Christiano
30 July 2013 | 07h19

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