Burgers made from artificial meat could be in restaurants by 2021

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A Dutch company that presented the world’s first lab-grown beefburger five years ago has said 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 (£6.7 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.

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 one million euro (£890,000) 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 two to three years later, with a typical hamburger costing about one dollar.

Test-tube burger
A lab-grown meat burger made from cultured beef (David Parry/PA)

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.

Winter weather Feb 20th 2017
Lab-made meat would reduce the need for meat from cows (Peter Byrne/PA)

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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