Home Coffee shop Wake up and smell the “sustainable” coffee produced in a Finnish laboratory

Wake up and smell the “sustainable” coffee produced in a Finnish laboratory


HELSINKI (Reuters) – Climate change threatening traditional coffee cultivation,

Finnish scientists say they produced coffee from cell cultures with an aroma and taste resembling the real thing.

The VTT Technical Research Center of Finland may have come up with a more sustainable alternative to growing coffee beans by floating cell cultures in bioreactors filled with a nutrient medium used to make various animal products and of plants.

Heikki Aisala, the ATV researcher responsible for evaluating the process, said cellular coffee mugs likely could not yet pass standard taste tests, but had a lot of potential for a multi-billion global industry. dollars.

“Of course not 100%. It tastes like a combination of different types of coffee. We’re not there yet with the commercial variety, but it certainly looks like coffee right now,” Aisala said. .

VTT research team leader Heiko Rischer said cell cultures grown in the laboratory offered a more sustainable way to make coffee, as high demand resulted in countries devoting more and more land. to the cultivation of coffee beans, leading to deforestation.

Rischer said the environmental benefits of lab-grown coffee included reduced use of pesticides and fertilizers and a reduced need to ship coffee beans long distances to markets.

In Europe, laboratory-grown coffee would need to be approved as “Novel Food” before being marketed.

But will discerning coffee lovers drink it?

That’s what Satu, a barista in a Helsinki café, thinks.

“I think that one day we will go in this direction because of the disappearance of all natural sources of coffee, so we have to move forward … If it tastes good and the aroma is coffee based, then why not? I think it’s possible, ”she said.

(Reporting by Attila Cser; writing by Ilze Filks; editing by Mark Heinrich)

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