First lab-grown beef burger to be sold in London

London, July 28 : The world's first burger with beef grown in a test tube will be served at an exclusive London venue this week - at a whopping price of 250,000 pounds, a media report said Sunday.

The burger will be made of "synthetic" meat grown from stem cells of a cow, the Daily Mail reported.

Mark Post, a scientist from Maastricht University in the Netherlands, believes this could help solve problems in the meat industry.

"Right now, we are using 70 percent of all our agricultural capacity to grow meat through livestock. You are going to need alternatives. If we don't do anything, meat will become a luxury food and will become very expensive," he said.

A four-step technique is used to turn stem cells from animal flesh into a burger.

First, the stem cells are stripped from the cow's muscle. Next, they are incubated in a nutrient broth until they multiply many times over, creating a sticky tissue.

This muscle is then bulked up through the laboratory equivalent of exercise - it is anchored to Velcro and stretched. Finally, 3,000 strips of the lab-grown meat are minced, and, along with 200 pieces of lab-grown animal fat, formed into a burger.

The process is lengthy and expensive, but it could take just six weeks from stem cell to the shop.

Oxford university scientists said in 2011 that cultured beef would need 45 percent less energy than natural beef. It would require 99 percent less land than regular livestock and produce between 78 and 95 percent less greenhouse gas.

--IANS (Posted on 28-07-2013)

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