Scientists said that initial sampling suggests the burger will not taste great, but it is expected to be "good enough". (Agencies)
Researchers took cells from a cow and, at an institute in the Netherlands, turned them into strips of muscle which they combined to make a patty. They claim the technology could be a sustainable way of meeting what they say is a growing demand for meat.
"Later on Monday we are going to present the world's first hamburger made in a lab from cells. We are doing that because livestock production is not good for the environment, it is not going to meet demand for the world and it is not good for animals," said Professor Mark Post of Maastricht University, the scientist behind the burger.
Post's technique involves stem cells extracted from cow muscle tissue. In the laboratory, these are cultured with nutrients and growth promoting chemicals to help them develop and multiply.
Three weeks later, there are more than a million stem cells which are put into smaller dishes where they coalesce into small strips of muscle about a centimeter long and a few millimeters thick.
These strips are collected into small pellets which are frozen. When there are enough, they are defrosted and compacted into a patty just before being cooked. The scientists have tried to make the meat - which is initially white in colour - as authentic as possible.
It is the job of Helen Breewood, who is working with Post, to make the lab-grown muscle look red by adding the naturally occurring compound myoglobin.
"If it doesn't look like normal meat, if it doesn't taste like normal meat, it's not going to be a viable replacement," Breewood said.
Currently, this is a work in progress. The burger to be revealed on Monday will be coloured red with beetroot juice. The researchers have also added breadcrumbs, caramel and saffron, to add to the taste. Breewood, a vegetarian herself, said that she would eat lab-grown meat.
"A lot of people consider lab-grown meat repulsive at first. But if they consider what goes into producing normal meat in a slaughter house I think they would also find that repulsive," she said.
"[Lab-grown meat] will spell the end of lorries full of cows and chickens, abattoirs and factory farming. It will reduce carbon emissions, conserve water and make the food supply safer," according to a statement by animal welfare campaigners People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta).
Scientists said that initial sampling suggests the burger will not taste great, but it is expected to be "good enough".