The company that created the world’s first lab-grown beefburger has confirmed that it could be coming to a menu near you in just a few years.
Mosa Meat has confirmed that it received a £6.7 million in funding to pursue plans to bring its artificially grown meat to restaurants as soon as 2021.
Dutch-based Mosa Meat has in the past also received £890,000 from Google co-founder Sergey Brin. The aim is to achieve industrial-scale production two to three years later, with a typical hamburger costing about one dollar.
The big challenge is making meat that looks, feels and tastes like the real thing. Mosa Meat creates its burgers by using a small sample of cells taken from a live animal.
Those cells are fed with nutrients so that they grow into strands of muscle tissue. The company claims it could make up to 80,000 quarter pounders from a single sample.
With a number of startups and established players hoping to make cultured meat on a big scale in the coming years, a battle has broken out over the terms used to describe such products.
Some advocates have claimed the term “clean meat” while opponents in the traditional farm sector suggest “synthetic meat” is more appropriate.
Environmentalists have warned that the world’s growing appetite for meat, particularly in emerging economies such as China, is not sustainable because beef, pork and poultry require far greater resources than plant-based proteins.
Cows in particular also produce large amounts of greenhouse gas that contribute to global warming.