Two volunteers will taste the world's first lab-grown meat later today when the test-tube burger made from stem cells is served in front of an invite-only audience in London today.
The 5oz burger will be cooked in a frying pan and then served at a special event at a secret location in London, UK. FoodNavigator will be at the event and bringing you the latest throughout the day.
The lab-grown concept
Created by Dutch researcher Professor Mark Post and his team at Maastricht University, the Netherlands, the cultured beef burger was created by growing more than 20,000 small strips of muscle tissue from stem cells harvested from two cow organically reared cows.
Post and his team said the muscle is biologically exactly the same as the meat tissue that comes from a cow, but could help to solve problems created by critical food shortages that the world will be facing in the next 30 years.
“What we are going to attempt is important because I hope it will show Cultured Beef has the answers to major problems that the world faces,” said Professor Mark Post.
“Our burger is made from muscle cells taken from a cow. We haven’t altered them in any way. For it to succeed it has to look, feel and hopefully taste like the real thing.”
A sustainable future?
Post said that the project highlights the urgent need for sustainable food, adding that the burger represents a crucial first step in finding a sustainable alternative to current meat production processes.
Speaking with FoodNavigator in the early stages of the project in 2011 Post said that the current Cultured Beef project is a ‘proof of principle’, which will require a lot more development before lab grown meats are commercially viable. However he added that he did see the technology being used commercially “not too far in the future.”
However, Post said 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 was to succeed in helping to solve the ever growing problem of world hunger.