The strain on the environment is increasing with the increasing population. And due to the elevating environmental concern, producing food in labs is the only alternative left as land is not enough for cultivation purposes. The same is the reason behind growing one of the loved drinks – Coffee – in labs.
Since the atmosphere is getting hotter with every passing day, the land for coffee plantations is shrinking and it’s becoming difficult to cope with its global demand of 10 billion kg every year. Now to resolve this demand, scientists in Finland have started to produce coffee in labs – within bioreactors.
Heiko Rischer, a research team leader at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland says,
“The conventional method of producing coffee includes a bunch of problems, from unsustainable farming methods to exploitation and land rights. The demand for coffee is increasing every day and this adds up to the problem.”
As reported by NewAtlas, The technique used by researchers here has been used to produce meat and burger in past. As meat, coffee plants are also cultured in the lab, where they are placed in bioreactors and are given a suitable medium to grow. And it is easier to grow coffee than beef because plants cells are not much complex when compared to animal cells. Plant cells are cheaper, easier to the scalp, grows freely as compared to an animal cell that is always attached to the surface.
During this process of producing coffee in the lab, the off-white mass-produced is powdered and then roasted to a compound of dark-brown color which looks exactly like coffee. The scientists recently brewed their first cup of lab-grown coffee and discovered that it tastes and smells just like ordinary coffee.
Here have a look by yourself,
Moreover, By modifying the cell culture coffee can be provided different characteristics and by changing the cultivation process one can change the flavor and the level of caffeine in coffee.
The researchers won’t limit to this, as they plan to commercialize their product and work with companies to bring their product up. The increasing demand for coffee requires lab-grown coffee in the markets as there are places like Finland where growing coffee naturally is not possible.