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Burgers to become a glass act

Friday, 8 July 2011 | By Michelle Hammond
Stem cell beef burgerDutch scientists behind the world’s first test-tube beef burger, due to be unveiled in a year, say their creation could soon be the only way for humans to remain meat-eaters.

 

The scientists predict that during the next few decades the world’s population will increase so fast that there will not be enough livestock to satisfy the demand for meat and that it’s possible that the only meat available will be grown in a lab.

 

They are developing a burger grown from 10,000 stem cells extracted from cattle that will be left in a lab to multiply more than a billion times in order to produce muscle tissue similar to beef.

 

Mark Post, a professor of physiology at Maastricht University, says in-vitro meat will soon be the only choice.

 

“I don’t see any way you could rely on old-fashioned livestock in the coming decades,” he says.

 

If that is the case is there an opportunity for start-ups to develop meat alternatives? Why not come up with a range of non-beef burgers to challenge the market’s existing players?