It looks like a burger, smells like a burger, and tastes almost like a burger. A lab-grown hamburger, the first of its kind, was given the taste test in London Monday.
Mark Post, a Dutch scientist who worked on the project in his lab in the Netherlands told reporters, "We proved it's possible," referring to the minced meat grown in a lab.
The lab-grown beef patty was sent to the Riverside Studios where it was cooked, dressed in butter and a s sprinkling of sunflower oil. The 5-ounce patty cost $332,000 to produce and arrived at the studio on a plate covered with a silver dome. Autho of The Taste of Tomorrow Josh Schonwald and Austrian nutritional scientist Hanni Rutzler tasted the expensive lab-grown patty. Rutzler said, "It's close to meat, but it's not as juicy."
The cultured minced meat is the end product of a five-year research. It took Dutch Mark Post just three months to build the burger using stem cells. "That's faster than raising a cow," Post said in an interview with the Washington Post. Post utilized satellite cells for the burger patty. Satellite cells, experts say, are used by the body to help muscle regenerate after sustaining injury.
Another Dutchman by the name of Peter Verstrate worked with Post on the project. Verstrate carried the expensive meat to London by train. Verstrate shared to the media that people always react badly when they learn that the burger patty is made from stem cells. He said though, "We don't eat stem cells, we eat muscles."
While developing the burger, the two researchers had difficulty getting the right color for the meat. Verstrate said, "The material was colorless, which was a bit strange. It was more like chicken." He then added natural food coloring to the mixture to give the meat a little bit of color.