Cow stem cell burger tasted in London

The taste test took place on August 5 in London.  Credit: Handout
The taste test took place on Monday in London.
Credit: Handout

The world’s first test tube burger was cooked and served in London, a year after the food innovation was announced.

Author Josh Schonwald and nutrition scientist Hanni Rutzler were the first to try the “cultured beef,” which was pan fried in sunflower oil and butter, cooked by Cornwall chef Richard McGeown.

Turns out the two weren’t that impressed with the $332,000 test tube burger.

“It’s somewhere on the continuum between a Boca burger and a McDonald’s burger,” Schonwald reported.

Rutzzler said the product tasted “close” to meat, while both agreed the texture of the burger was just right.

To create the 5-ounce patty, 20,000 strands of meat were used. The project cost $332,000, which was partially funded by Sergey Brin, Google’s co-founder.

The test-tube burger doesn’t have the fat that is found in traditional beef, and also lacks the flavor found in a normal burger. Scientists say it’s possible to grow fat stem cells to enhance the flavor.

In the tasting conducted in London, red beet juice and saffron were used to make the patty more visually appealing while salt, egg powder and breadcrumbs were added for texture and flavor.

Project leader Mark Post said he estimates that it will be 10 to 20 years before the burgers will be available to the general public.

PETA has also thrown its support behind the lab burger.

“As long as there’s anybody who’s willing to kill a chicken, a cow or a pig to make their meal, we are for this,” said Ingrid Newkirk, PETA’s president and co-founder. “Instead of the millions and billions [of animals] being slaughtered now we could just clone a few cells to make burgers or chops.”

Follow Mary Ann Georgantopoulos on Twitter @marygeorgant


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