On August 5, 2013, we presented and cooked the world's first lab-grown burger at a news conference in London. The burger was assembled from 10.000 small strips of muscle that were individually grown in our lab at Maastricht University.
Nutritional researcher Hanni Rützler and food writer Josh Schonwald were the two tasters. They reported that there was quite some flavor with the browning and that even in a blind trial they would have taken the product for meat rather than a vegetal copy. The global press coverage was tremendous and the reactions were generally very positive. Having publicly demonstrated and cooked a hamburger from muscle fibers, it is now time to take the next step, and intensify the research phase that will take us to the next level: putting Cultured Meat on the market. We are now working on finalizing the development of the first product, the process and the regulatory aspects.
While the global meat industry provides food for billions of people, it also has significant environmental consequences. Alone, the livestock sector is responsible for more than 18% of human-induced greenhouse gas emissions. And the burden of meat production is only expected to worsen since global demand for meat is forecast to rise significantly towards 2050. Traditional meat production will not be able to cope with that level of demand without grave consequences. The switch from traditional meat production to the use of tissue engineering to produce meat would eliminate many of the negative aspects of meat production, and offer us a future where we can preserve this nutritious and delicious product in our menu.
MosaMeat aims to develop tissue engineering into a technology that can mass-produce affordable meat.
Meet the team
Chief Executive Officer Peter holds a Masters in Food science from Wageningen University in The Netherlands and has worked in the processed meat industry for over 20 years on various senior positions, ranging from R&D and QA to operations. Among his former employers are Sara Lee, Ahold, Smithfield, Campofrio Food Group and Jack Links. Over time he has built a deep knowledge of the meat business. Since 2009 Peter is self-employed and works as a consultant for the food industry. He has been involved with and fascinated by cultured meat since 2003. He worked on the development of the first cultured hamburger as a food technician.
Chief Scientific Officer Professor Mark Post first got involved in a Dutch government-funded program investigating “in vitro meat” in 2006, when he was a part-time professor of tissue engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology. The program had been initiated by Willem van Eelen, an 86-year-old entrepreneur who held a long-time fascination for the possibility of culturing meat. Motivated by the potentially high societal impact, professor Post continued research even after the funding had ended in 2010. Professor Post received his medical degree and PhD from the University of Utrecht in 1982 and 1989 respectively. He joined the KNAW Interuniversity Cardiology Institute of the Netherlands before being appointed full-time Assistant Professor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA in 1996. Six years later, he moved with his lab to Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, NH, and was appointed Associate Professor of Medicine and of Physiology. In July 2002, Dr. Post returned to the Netherlands as a Professor of Vascular Physiology at Maastricht University and Professor of Angiogenesis in Tissue Engineering at the Technical University Eindhoven. Since January 2004 he has been Chair of Physiology.