Sizzling in a pan, the world's first lab grown burger was unveiled to the public on Monday (August 5, 2013) at a London location.

Resembling a standard circular-shaped red meat patty, it was created by knitting together 20,000 strands of laboratory-grown protein, combined with other ingredients normally used in burgers, such as salt, breadcrumbs and egg powder.

Red beetroot juice and saffron were added to give it colour.

The two food tasters, food researcher Hani Ruttzler and author Josh Schonwald were reserved in their judgement, perhaps keen not to offend their host at the event.

''But there is quite some intense taste, it's close to meat, it's not that juicy. But, the consistency is perfect. I miss salt and pepper,'' said Rutzler about the historic culinary experience.

''The texture, the mouth feel has a feel like meat, the, what Hani was just saying, the absence of I feel like the fat," Schonwald said.

"It's a leanness to it, but the bite you know feels like a conventional hamburger,'' he added.

Speaking after the tasting, carried out in front of members of the press, the scientist behind the burger's creation, Vascular biologist Mark Post of Maastricht University in the Netherlands, said his cultured burger did taste like meat.

''The smell is more subtle because smell is usually given off by aromas in the fat. There's no fat in this burger, therefore it's, it's more subtle," he said.

"The caramelisation of the sugars and the proteins in the meat which is also important for the taste, is exactly the same as regular meat, so there's no worries there," he said.

"The texture is very similar, slightly different, because the fibres are smaller. It's very, very similar, and the taste is good, it tastes like meat. It's not quite there, but it's getting there, and this is a very good start for future improvement,''' he added.

The Dutch scientist's aim was to show the world that in the future meat will not necessarily have to come from the environmentally and economically costly rearing and slaughtering of millions of animals.

''The technology is there, we can make a piece of meat outside of the cow, using cow cells, that was an important point," he said.

"Another important point was that we needed to make the people aware that we have a serious issue with meat production and that you know, we are not going to supply sufficient meat with current production methods with the growing population," Post added.

"The meat that we supply is in a way that is bad for the environment, so there are pressing needs to change that, and we think this is an ethical and environmental friendly way to produce meat,'' he said.

Post said he was confident his concept can be scaled up to offer a viable alternative to animal meat production, but said it may be another 20 years before lab-grown meat appears on supermarket shelves.

Presented by Adam Justice

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