Home | Food | First reaction: Lab-made burger short on flavor

First reaction: Lab-made burger short on flavor

By
Share with a friend on:    
Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font
First reaction: Lab-made burger short on flavor

They bit, they chewed, but had hoped for more flavor.

Two volunteers who participated in the first public frying of hamburger grown in a lab said Monday that it had the texture of meat but was short of flavor because of the lack of fat.

Mark Post, whose team at Maastricht University in the Netherlands developed the burger, hopes that making meat in labs could eventually help feed the world and fight climate change. That goal is many years distant, at best.

Sergey Brin, a co-founder of Google, appeared on a video shown at the event and announced that he funded the 250,000-euro ($330,000) project because of his concern for animal welfare.

“I would say it’s close to meat. I miss the salt and pepper,” said Austrian nutritionist Hanni Ruetzler, one of the volunteer tasters. Both shunned the bun and sliced tomatoes to concentrate on the meat.

“The absence is the fat, it’s a leanness to it, but the bite feels like a conventional hamburger,” said U.S. journalist Josh Schonwald. He added that he had rarely tasted a hambuger, as he did on Monday, “without ketchup or onions or jalapenos or bacon.”

Monday’s taste test, coming after five years of research, is a key step toward making lab meat a culinary phenomenon. Post called it “a good start.”

Brin expressed high hopes for the technology.

“We’re trying to create the first cultured beef hamburger. From there I’m optimistic we can really scale by leaps and bounds,” he said on the video.

Post said it’s crucial that the burger has the “look, feel and taste like the real thing.”

Despite the tasters concern about flavor, scientists say that can be tweaked.

“Taste is the least (important) problem since this could be controlled by letting some of the stem cells develop into fat cells,” said Stig Omholt, director of biotechnology at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. Adding fat to the burgers this way would probably be healthier than getting it from naturally chunky cows, Omholt said before Monday’s test. He was not involved in the project.

Post and colleagues made the meat from the muscle cells of two organic cows. The cells were put into a nutrient solution to help them develop into muscle tissue, growing into small strands of meat.

Read more...

Share with a friend on:    
image

Traveling Murphy

Traveling Murphy started as a way for me to share all the unique restaurants and fun things to do in…Read more
image

Mallory Sills

Fashion Institute of Technology certified Image Consultant and Stylist, Mallory is driven to enhance confidence and celebrate women looking and…Read more
image

Sara Snelling, Fox Valley Nutritionist

Sara Snelling is an innovative, forward-thinking nutritionist with a food science, food service and food safety background. While earning her…Read more
image

11th Hour Bartending Services

We are a mobile bartending service located in the Fox Valley and have been bringing fun craft cocktails to private…Read more
Sign up for news, deals and doings
What's going on in the Fox
Fox Valley Magazine's Current Issue