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Lab burger

Pics: This is the world’s first test tube burger

The burger, which cost nearly €250,000 to produce, will be unveiled by Professor Mark Post of Maastricht University in London later today.

Pic: David Parry/PA Wire

Updated 8.10pm

THE WORLD’S FIRST lab-grown beef burger has been served to volunteers in London.

The burger, which cost nearly €250,000 to produce, was unveiled by Professor Mark Post of Maastricht University, who developed the food, and tasted by two volunteers at a press conference in London.

Post produced the burger from thousands of tiny stips of meat that were grown from cow stem cells and believes that his innovation could become a regular on supermarket shelves within the next ten years.

Mixed with salt, egg powder and breadcrumbs to improve the taste, and coloured with red beetroot juice and saffron, researchers claim it will taste similar to a normal burger.

Post says the burger is safe and has the potential to replace normal meat in the diets of millions of people. He brought it into a news conference at a TV studio on a tray covered in a metal cloche.

Pic: David Parry/PA Wire

The patty was served to two volunteers, US-based food author Josh Schonwald and Austrian food researcher Hanni Ruetzler.

After taking a mouthful, she said: “I was expecting the texture to be more soft… I know there is no fat in it so I didn’t know how juicy it would be.

“It’s close to meat. It’s not that juicy. The consistency is perfect (but) I miss salt and pepper!”

Sergey Brin, one of Google’s co-founders, was revealed as one of the financial backers of the project.

Proponents of test tube meat cite a variety of reasons for why it is worth supporting, from animal welfare to the environment and even public health — lab-created meat theoretically carries no risk of disease and does not need to be treated with antibiotics.

In creating a test tube burger there is 45 per cent less energy use, 96 per cent fewer greenhouse gas emissions and 99 per cent less land use, according to an independent study published in the Environmental Science and Technology.

- additional reporting from AFP

First published 8.40am

Previously: ‘Test tube’ hamburger could be served later this year

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