Artificial meat could be on sale within five years after Dutch scientists grew a form of meat in a test tube.
Researchers have created what is described as “soggy pork” under lab conditions and are now looking at ways to improve the muscle tissue in an attempt to make it appetising.
While no one has tasted the meat, scientists at Eindhoven University claim the development could reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with real animals.
“What we have at the moment is rather like wasted muscle tissue,” Mark Post, professor of physiology at Eindhoven University, told The Sunday Times.
“We need to find ways of improving it by training it and stretching it, but we will get there.
“This product will be good for the environment and will reduce animal suffering. If it feels and tastes like meat, people will buy it.
“You could take the meat from one animal and create the volume of meat previously provided by a million animals.”
The scientists extracted cells from the muscle of a live pig and put them in a broth of animal products to multiply and create muscle tissues.
They said it could be turned into something like steak if they could find a way to artificially “exercise” the muscle.
The project is backed by the Dutch government and a sausage manufacturer.