Researchers at Eindhoven University have for the first time grown meat in a laboratory.
Astonishingly, they claim not to have actually tried it thanks to laboratory rules, but say it is basically a soggy version of pork. They hope to improve the texture, with the aim of having something that could be used in sausages within five years.
"We need to find ways of improving it by training it and stretching it, but we will get there," Mark Post, professor of physiology at Eindhoven University, told theSunday Times. "This product will be good for the environment and will reduce animal suffering. If it feels and tastes like meat, people will buy it.”
The team extracted myoblast cells from the muscle of a live pig, and then incubated them in a nutrient solution so that they multiplied. While the solution was made from blood products from animal foetuses, the team hopes in future to develop a synthetic solution.
The research could potentially lead to cheaper meat, as well as a reduction in greenhouse gases. "You could take the meat from one animal and create the volume of meat previously provided by a million animals," said Professor Post.
The project is backed by a sausage manufacturer as well as the Dutch government.