6 Aug 2013

Artificial burger created by Dutch scientists

10:58 am on 6 August 2013

An artificial burger created by Dutch scientists was cooked and eaten in London on Monday.

Scientists at an institute in the Netherlands took cells from a cow and turned them into strips of muscle that they combined to make a 140 gram patty.

The burger was cooked by chef Richard McGeown of Cornwall and tasted by food critics Hanni Ruetzler and Josh Schonwald.

"I was expecting the texture to be more soft... there is quite some intense taste; it's close to meat, but it's not that juicy,'' said Ms Ruetzler. ''The consistency is perfect, but I miss salt and pepper.

"This is meat to me. It's not falling apart," she added.

"The mouthfeel is like meat. I miss the fat, there's a leanness to it, but the general bite feels like a hamburger,'' said Mr Schonwald.

"What was consistently different was flavour."

Professor Mark Post of Maastricht University said the meat was made up of tens of billions of lab-grown cells.

He said it is safe and has the potential to replace normal meat in the diets of millions of people.

Asked when lab-grown burgers would reach the market, Professor Post said: "I think it will take a while. This is just to show we can do it."

The BBC reports the 250,000 euro ($US300,000) project was funded by Sergey Brin, a co-founder of Google.