The world’s first test-tube-grown beef burger has been cooked and eaten in London.
The burger was created by scientists in the Netherlands at a cost of about $370,000 using strands of meat grown from muscle cells taken from a living cow.
The 140-gram patty was mixed with salt, egg powder and breadcrumbs, coloured with red beetroot juice and saffron and fried in butter to add extra flavour.
Food trends expert Hanni Ruetzler was one of the volunteers who tried the burger.
“I was expecting the texture to be more soft and there is quite some flavour with the browning,” she said.
“I know there is no fat in it so I didn’t really know how juicy it will be but there is quite some intense taste, it’s close to meat.”
Professor Mark Post, who led the research, says he hopes it will be a sustainable alternative to livestock farming.
“Livestock meat production is not good for the environment, is eventually not going to meet the demands of the world and it’s not good for the animals,” he said.
The burger took three months to create and intense security surrounded its unveiling.
Researchers say once refined the technology could offer a more sustainable way of producing meat.
According to a report from the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation, global meat production will more than double between 2000 and 2050.
Google co-founder Sergey Brin stepped in to support the project after funding from the Dutch government ran out.
“There are basically three things that can happen going forward. One is that we all become vegetarian. I don’t think that’s really likely,” he said.
“The second is we ignore the issues and that leads to continued environmental harm, and the third option is we do something new.”
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