The World’s First Test-Tube Burger Was Cooked And Eaten In London

Mark Post Hamburger
Cultured meat grown in a laboratory is made from real animal flesh. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

Two volunteers will taste the world’s first test-tube burger in London on Monday, Aug. 5.

A live feed of the event is available at, and will begin at 8 a.m. EDT. Scroll down for live updates. 

The burger, made from Cultured Beef, will be cooked in a frying pan and then served to both diners in front of invite-only guests.

The taste-testers were revealed as Chicago author Josh Schonwald and Austrian food researcher Hanni Rützler on Twitter this morning. 

The hamburger’s creator, Professor Mark Post of Maastricht University, believes that in-vitro meat could end the impending food crisis and satisfy the world’s growing demand for meat without destroying the environment or harming animals.

The burger is made from a real animal. This makes it different from “imitation meat,” like soy protein, used in vegetarian or vegan foods.

Muscle cells are harvested from a cow. The cells are placed into a donut-shaped dish with a nutrient solution — a mix of sugars, fats, amino acids, and minerals.

The cells become muscle tissue and grow into small strands of meat.

Around 20,000 meat strands are needed to make one five-ounce burger, Post says.

Ingredients like salt, egg powder, and breadcrumbs are combined with the Cultured Beef to make the burger. Scientists use red beet juice and saffron for coloring. Without this, the meat strands are an unappetizing, grayish color due to the lack of blood cells.

The lab-grown meat was still “not tasty” when Post spoke to Reuters in 2011. The first public tasting will be the ultimate test. Have scientists created something that lives up to the real thing? 

Post is optimistic; he predicts that commercial production of test-tube beef could begin within the next 10 to 20 years.

Here’s our first look at the Cultured Beef burger. A Cornwall chef says he is going to approach it like a traditional burger. It looks slightly paler than a normal burger. 

Test-tube burger

Cultured Beef Project

It’s browning up nicely. It has the same cooking time as a regular hamburger and smells good. 


Cultured Beef Project

About 4 minutes to go.


Cultured Beef Burger

Inventor Mark Post says it will take 10-20 years to get the burger into supermarkets. Post says it is “as safe as regular beef.”

mark Post

Cultured Beef Project

The burger is done. We’re now ready for the tasting. 


Cultured Beef Project

Rützler takes the first bite. She was expecting it be more juicy. “There is quite some intense taste,” she said. Schonwald agrees that the texture of the meat is there, but the flavor is missing. The hamburger doesn’t yet have fat, which is where most of the flavor comes from. 

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