Would YOU eat lab-grown meat? Dutch company behind world’s first ‘test tube burger’ produced from animal cells says it could be in restaurants in just 3 years

  • Mosa Meat said it raised $8.8 million, mainly from M Ventures and Bell Food 
  • The Dutch firm presented the world’s first lab-grown beef burger five years ago
  • It hopes to sell its first products, most likely ground beef for burgers, in 2021
  • Aim is to achieve mass production 2-3 years later, with a patty costing about $1
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A Dutch company that presented the world’s first lab-grown beef burger five years ago said Tuesday it has received funding to pursue its plans to make and sell artificially grown meat to restaurants from 2021.

Mosa Meat said it raised 7.5 million euros ($8.8 million), mainly from M Ventures and Bell Food Group. 

M Ventures is an investment vehicle for German pharmaceuticals company Merck KGaA.  Bell Food is a European meat processing company based in Switzerland.


A Dutch company that presented the world’s first lab-grown beef burger five years ago said Tuesday it has received funding to pursue its plans to make and sell artificially grown meat to restaurants from 2021. A ‘test-tube burger’ is shown above

Smaller investors include Glass Wall Syndicate, which supports several companies looking into cultured meat or meat substitute products aimed at consumers concerned about the environmental and ethical impact of raising and slaughtering animals.

Maastricht-based Mosa Meat, which has in the past also received 1 million euros from Google co-founder Sergey Brin, said it hopes to sell its first products – most likely ground beef for burgers – in 2021. 

The aim is to achieve industrial-scale production 2-3 years later, with a typical hamburger patty costing about $1.

Environmentalists have warned that the world’s growing appetite for meat, particularly in emerging economies such as China, isn’t sustainable because beef, pork and poultry require far greater resources than plant-based proteins. 

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Cows in particular also produce large amounts of greenhouse gas that contribute to global warming.

The big challenge is making meat that looks, feels and tastes like the real thing. Mosa Meat uses 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. 


Maastricht-based Mosa Meat, which has in the past also received 1 million euros from Google co-founder Sergey Brin, said it hopes to sell its first products – most likely ground beef for burgers – in 2021

HOW IS ‘TEST TUBE MEAT’ GROWN IN A LABORATORY?


‘Test tube meat’ is a term used to describe meat products grown in a laboratory

‘Test tube meat’ is a term used to describe meat products grown in a laboratory.

They are made by harvesting stem cells from the muscle tissue of living livestock.

The cells, which have the ability to regenerate, are then cultured in a nutrient soup of sugars and minerals.

These cells are then left to develop inside bioreactor tanks into skeletal muscle that can be harvested in just a few weeks.

Lab-grown beef was first created by Dutch scientists in 2013. A test tube hamburger was served at a restaurant in London to two food critics.

In March 2017, San Francisco firm Memphis Meats successfully grew poultry meat from stem cells for the first time.


In March 2017, San Francisco firm Memphis Meats successfully grew poultry meat from stem cells for the first time. The company also makes lab-grown meatballs (pictured)

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.

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