Dr Mark Post, the chair of the department of physiology and professor of vascular physiology and tissue engineering at Maastricht University, is aiming not only to improve the taste of his lab-grown burger, but to make it available to mainstream markets in the future, according to the presentation he gave at Where Science Feeds Innovation expo in Chicago on July 12.
With a current price of $300,000 (£192,000), his stem cell creation was initially criticized for the overall texture, taste and color, but he appears to have made vast leaps in improving the recipe, now just working on improving the flavor by finding a substitute for the fat lacking in the synthetic burger (which gives regular meat patties their taste).
Using skeletal muscle fiber stem cells from a cow, cultures are grown in a lab to create the burger.
In a paper Post wrote in 2012, he explains that bio-artificial muscles made using satellite cells have been in use for 15 years, but had never previously been used for creating a meat substitute. Due to increased demand for meat production, the environmental impact of livestock and concerns for animal and human health, Post believes that it is an important task to tackle.
Although the new and improved patty will still be expensive when it hits mainstream restaurants at over a couple of hundred dollars, Post believes that there will be a market for them. He estimates that production costs for the meat will go down from the current $300,000 to approximately $65 (£42) per kilo – and he's also working on a synthetic steak.
So would you eat a synthetic meat burger? Or try a maybe a fake steak?