In a world first, Professor Mark Post of Maastricht University revealed a Cultured Beef burger at an event in London on August, 5th. The burger, which was cooked by frying in a pan, could help solve the coming food crisis and combat climate change.
As the world’s population grows to an estimated 9 billion by the middle of the century, experts believe even intense livestock farming processes will not be able to match the demand from a growing middle class for meat. Commercial production of Cultured Beef could begin within 10 to 20 years.
“What we are trying today is important because I hope it will show Cultured Beef has the answers to major problems that the world faces,” said Professor Mark Post on August 5th, whose laboratories at Maastricht University in the Netherlands developed the processes behind Cultured Beef.
The burger has been made using Cultured Beef and other ingredients commonly found in similar food products such as salt, egg powder and breadcrumbs. Red beet juice and saffron have been added to bring out its natural colours. It was tasted by Josh Schonwald, a Chicago-based author who has written extensively on the future of food, and Austrian food researcher Hanni Rützler.
A sample of muscle cells taken from a cow are cultured in a laboratory by scientists who place them in a nutrient solution to create muscle tissue. The tissue is grown by placing the cells in a ring, like a donut, around a hub of gel. The muscle cells grow into small strands of meat. Some 20,000 such strands are needed to make one 140g (approx. five ounce) burger.
The project has been given support by Sergey Brin, who made a fortune by being a co-developer of the google search engine..
Source: Maastricht University