Dutch scientists expect to be able to grill their first hamburger using meat grown in a laboratory this autumn, the professor in charge of the project, Mark Post, told a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science this weekend.
Post’s team at Maastricht University has grown small pieces of muscle about 2cm long, 1cm wide and about a mm thick, the BBC says. The strips are off-white and will be mixed with blood and artificially grown fat to produce a hamburger by the autumn.
The aim of the research is to develop a more efficient way of producing meat than rearing animals and Post believes synthetic meat could cut the environmental footprint of livestock farming by 60%.
According to the Independent, Post hopes top British chef Heston Blumenthal will cook the pattie, which will have cost €250,000 to produce. Post said the project’s anonymous backer had not yet decided who would get to eat the world’s most expensive hamburger, which will be unveiled at a ceremony in Maastricht in October.
Post declined to tell the paper who his backer is, except to say that he was well known but not a celebrity – and not British. ‘It’s a very reputable source of money,’ he said.
Lab-grown meat is first step to artificial hamburger
Would you eat a burger grown in a laboratory?