LONDON – An artificial burger which took two months to grow in a lab was put to the test by experts yesterday and while it may not have quite lived up to expectations scientists insist it could be on shelves in stores in the not too distant future.
Cornwall chef Richard McGeown fried the beef burger in sunflower oil and butter before a live audience in London which was then sampled by US author Josh Schonwald and Austrian food scientist Hanni Rutzler.
Hanni said it was “close to meat” but it “lacked juiciness” and she expected a softer texture.
Josh also noted its dryness and added: “The absence is the fat, it has a leanness but the bite feels like a conventional hamburger.”
The burger was made from 20,000 tiny strips of meat and was created in the Netherlands. Scientist-turned-chef Professor Mark Post admitted that more work was needed before his creation could compete with the real thing for flavour.
Other ingredients in the burger included, salt, egg powder, breadcrumbs, red beetroot juice and saffron.
Sampling it himself for the first time, he said: “I think it’s a very good start, it proved that we can do this, that we can make it and to provide a start to build upon – I am very pleased with it.
“There is no fat in there yet. We’re working on that – it will take a couple of months. We all know some of the flavour comes from the fat and the juices come from the fat, but I think this is a good start.”
The project is the result of years of research which saw the scientists graduating from mouse meat, to pork and then beef. It was bankrolled by Google co-founder Sergey Brin, whose involvement was kept a secret until yesterday.
What do you guys think? Do you have any intrest in ‘fake’ meat? Is this the burger of the future? Let us know in the comments below.