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World's first lab-grown burger to be served up in October

A Dutch university plans to unveil - and cook - the world's first lab-grown beefburger later this year.

Posted : 20 February 2012

Developed from stem cells by scientists at Maastricht University, the burger will be made of 3,000 wafer-thin sheets of cow muscle and fatty tissue that have never seen a cow.

It cost £200,000 to create and will be destined for a slightly less expensive bap sometime in October.

“Meat demand is going to double in the next 40 years and right now we are using 70 per cent of all our agricultural capacity to grow meat through livestock,” said Dr Mark Post, head of the university’s physiology department. “You can easily calculate that we need alternatives.”

The project has been funded by an anonymous individual hoping to reduce the number of beef cattle globally and slash the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the livestock industry.

According to Dr Post, the commercial production of lab-grown beefburgers could be achieved in 10-20 years, and the tissue could be modified to include high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids.

He hopes the £200,000 prototype will be cooked up for a celebrity dinner by gastronaut Heston Blumenthal.

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