Coffee lovers might soon get a whole new experience in sipping the beverage as researchers from Finland have claimed to create the first-ever lab-grown coffee. The researchers even assured that the new engineered variety tastes and smells exactly like the real thing, as per a report by Daily Mail. The scientists reportedly achieved this feat through a process called cellular agriculture, which has been used to create milk and meat in the lab.
According to Daily Mail’s report, the scientists from Espoo-based VTT Technical Research Centre in Finland first took cell samples from a popular coffee plant known as Arabica which was then transferred to growth chemicals called nutrient medium where the cells were allowed to propagate and multiply.
Once the cells had multiplied in number, they were transferred to bioreactors for obtaining biomass. This process was followed by analysing and harvesting the biomass once it is formed. Finally, the scientists harvested the biomass for drying and roasting following which it was ready for brewing. Dr Heiko Rischer, who was involved in the experiment and tasted the brew himself reportedly said that the engineered coffee smelled and tasted like an ordinary one.
The scientists from VTT believe that growing genetically engineered coffee can solve the sustainability issues somewhat driven and faced by the global coffee industry. As per Daily Mail, lab-grown crops would ease the strain on forests that require clear spaces for the widespread production of coffee. The report stated that such production processes are leading to deforestation including the sensitive rainforests.
Citing a previous study by the Japanese Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Daily Mail reported that the average coffee consumption of one person in the US or the UK is responsible for the fall of four trees every year. Besides, chocolate, beef and palm oil-based products also offer the same results.
Meanwhile, the VTT scientists are eyeing approval from the administrations as they plan to commercialise their product by 2025. On the other hand, the sale of artificial coffee would also require Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval before being marketed in the US.