A Dutch scientist will unveil the world’s first beef hamburger created by stem cells harvested from a living cow. The 5-ounce burger cost $332,000 to produce, with the research being funded by an anonymous individual, said the scientist, Mark Post of Maastricht University. Two volunteers have agreed to sample the steak, which will be fried in a pan at a tasting event in London today, Bloomberg News reports.
Commercial production could begin in a decade or two, according to Post, whose work on cultured beef began in 2008.
“I hope it will show cultured beef has the answers to major problems that the world faces,” he said in a statement before the tasting event. “For it to succeed, it has to look, feel and hopefully taste like the real thing.”
The muscle stem cells, taken by harmless biopsy from living cows, are fed and nurtured so they multiply to create muscle tissue. The cells grow into strands, and 20,000 of them get combined to create one burger. One sample of cells is enough to create up to 20,000 tons of meat in the lab, he said.