Burger Straight from the Lab

As the world population continues to grow and food becomes more and more limited, we as humans are going to be searching for novel ways to combat food shortages. Mark Post, a vascular biologist at the University of Maastricht, spent the past 2 years and $325,000 to solve this issue. Post has created the first ever lab cultured beef patty which was fried up and shared on the 5th of this month.

By acquiring stem cells from the shoulder muscle of a cow, Post was able to grow the cells in a nutrient rich media that signaled the differentiation to muscle cells. The cells soon formed muscle fibers of which about 20,000 were “knitted” together to form the completed beef patty shown below.

310_Cultured Beef 2

This patty was pan-fried and served on bun with lettuce and tomato to Post himself, Josh Schonwald and Hanni Rutzler. Schonwald stated that biting into the burger felt like biting into a conventional burger however, the patty tasted “like an animal protein cake”. This may have something to do with the absence of adipose tissue, which most notably gives a conventional burger its taste. The upside is that without the presence of fat in the burger it is much healthier for the customer and can even eliminate the possibility of contamination by harmful bacteria via production in a sterile facility.

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